I’m glad to announce that the WPW has found a new “home” for the majority of our meetings at the Back Channel School of Woodworking. Dante DiIanni, the owner, has graciously agreed to allow our club to hold its monthly meetings there, which is no small matter as our occasional presence adds one more level of complexity to his ability to schedule woodworking classes. The next time that you see Dante, please join me in thanking him for his continued generosity to the WPW. At least for this first time, please read all of the bullets below, as they should answer most of your questions and provide a fair warning for possible future changes to our “normal” meeting schedule.
- Back Channel School of Woodworking is located at 831 Broadway Ave., McKees Rocks, PA 15136. There is a tall silver flagpole at the front of the building which is easy to spot as you approach. Apple and Google Maps easily find the address. Despite the McKees Rocks mailing address, the building is actually in Stowe Township.
- There are old-fashioned parking meters on the street which accept nickels, dimes, and quarters. A quarter will buy two hours of parking. We have been informed by the Stowe Township Police Department that the meters along Broadway Avenue are enforced on Saturdays. Parking (free) is also available on all of the surrounding side streets.
- The entire curb in front of the building is actually a low “driveway” and is painted yellow (the building was formerly a fire station). I have been warned that parking along this yellow line is prohibited. Given that we have some members with mobility issues, I will be asking Stowe Township officials if parking, with a Handicapped placard, is allowable. For now, assume it is not.
- Access to the building will be through a large garage door at the front left of the building that will be fully open until the meeting starts, as well as a man-door at the front right of the building to be used when the garage door is down. There is also a man-door at the back of the building, accessible from the alley.
- The owner, staff, and all students at Back Channel have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. For normal classes where social distancing is possible, masks are not required for those who have been vaccinated, but in the case of large groups of people (like our meetings) where we will be close together, you are REQUIRED to be fully vaccinated and wear at least a 3-ply surgical mask to attend. Bandanas, gators, and other single-ply cloth masks are not acceptable — We will have 3-ply surgical masks available for those members who need one. Please see a separate COVID Protocols section for additional information and our reasons.
- To improve the ventilation in the building during our meetings, the garage door at the front of the building will be left open about a foot, and a large in-wall exhaust fan at the back of the building will be continuously running to create noticeable cross ventilation in the space. We expect this practice to continue at least until November, so please dress accordingly as the weather gets cooler.
- We have installed our large projection screen and purchased a new PA system to allow for ease of seeing/hearing the presentation, even from a distance, allowing for members to spread out as much as possible. Additionally, we’re going to try to use multiple cameras to get the best possible video content projected onto the screen. We will also be simultaneously having a virtual WebEx meeting so that those members who do not wish to attend in-person meetings at this time can still participate, as we have done since March 2020.
- Back Channel is in the process of adding another meeting room and a first-floor bathroom, but the bathroom is not completed yet. Therefore, there is only a second-floor bathroom available (20 steps), so if using the steps presents a problem, you may want to attend the meeting virtually until the first-floor bathroom is completed (we will advise when it’s completed).
- In the past, we have tried very hard to always have our meetings on the second Saturday of the month, such that members could just “show up.” We are no longer able to do this, as Back Channel may need/want to schedule classes for Saturday mornings. Therefore, we may need to schedule meetings for other days/times, so it’s vital that you always check the meeting information on the website, as there may no longer be a “normal” meeting day/time. This may actually be a good thing, as we’re acutely aware that Saturday mornings are a difficult time for some of our members to attend a meeting. We’re considering a weekday evening, perhaps Friday, as a preferred time, but I’d like to hear from you as to your preferences for alternate meeting days/times.