Quite some time has passed since we are in the new building, formerly used by the city’s waste-management company, now already started to integrate as a proper HABitat Slovenj Gradec, as a cities center for non-government organizations.
However, the fact that the main entrance is set towards the main road and not towards the yard, which is to one-third also covered by a roof, was never to our liking and we had always an eye on possibilities to solve this issue and generate a better, more integrative infrastructure. The time we could not work with the public, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, seemed fitted best to engage in such a workload.
How to finance? We talked to the city administration and they agreed to our idea to adapt the main entrance and agreed to provide the material costs for the construction works. – Good enough for us so started, by engaging a mentor for the overall process. With participating helpers, all volunteers, we went on conceiving, planning, gathering offers for the needed materials and in the end, they started working, taking out the window, adapting for the door to come, preparing for the stairways to be built; welding, mounting, sawing, screwing and coloring. We ran out of money quite early.
Being in quite insecure times, we were afraid to go too far with investing our own money, we could not know how to survive after all we went through, until the middle of the year.
Lucky for us, we were granted funds by the Active Citizens Fund Slovenija, for our project on non-formal political education, named Koroška Demokratična Postaja in 2021. As we were in the middle of a not-to-end brought adaption, essential for being able to run the project, we first, concluded what we began.
Thanks to the new funds, in parts also planned to conclude the adaption of the spaces for the needs of a public space aimed to inform, talk and discuss matters of democratic life in society, we could improve the overall concept of the internal spaces even further, much better to use now. We could improve also our technical preparedness to eventually extended virtual needs.
The place changed totally, the newly info-black-board and the 3×3 gallery on the house, since spring 2021 also illuminated by night, seen from the major street leading into town did change the perception of the building as a whole.
The yard, that has become the main space for socializing of all working in the HABitat, – offers now also for all passers-by a welcoming ambient.
This entire adaption, in which more than two hand-full of people were involved, provided many occasion for practical, non-formal learning, intelligent handling of situations, team-work, logistical engagements and insights of the importance of interesting effects are coming out of little architectonic changes, as the one deciding to move a main entrance to a building.
Unfortunately, the old entrance is up to today still used by two users of the association in the house, otherwise, we would also have ideas for a glass-box, which would provide a good and important display for activities and services offered …
After good, tiring times, – a wonderful result has increased socialization, communication and interaction what further fostered the integration of the associations in the house.
Thanks to funders and volunteers alike!