i routinely see a LOT of collaboration going on.
there's a handful of folks still learning/trying to get reliable prints out of the makerbot, ork was teaching folks impromptu about bow and bowstring making, several folks helped me out on the planer repair, various folks help each other out with welding projects, a group of us were talking about locks after hmmm4, ork has several things going that i've only once seen only him working on, folks routinely poke otto on the cnc mill, several folks helped me build a door, paul 3 folks were playing with foam and tape with you last wednesday, and i poked my nose in on occasion. judeling is always working on something with several folks.... i could go on.
if you venture out of the classroom most wednesdays you'll see not only someone getting a tour, but a few folks actively working on a project, and several others hanging around them helping, or chatting.
no, we're not all crammed into one tiny room where we can't hear each other speak, but we're getting 20+ people to almost every open wednesday where we were getting a scant 15 for bi weekly business meetings, and fewer for the off week meetups. i've *never* seen fewer than 7 folks here on a wednesday, where there were meetings that had that few.
lots of folks have poured a lot of effort into our group, and are getting a lot of use out of it. it clearly is not serving everyone's needs, but the board IS doing it's best to address things as we're made aware of them.
jwb, you asked for more loungey space, and by talking and listening to other members, several of the board worked to start a targeted space for you. it's not exactly what you wanted, but i can think of 12 people off the top of my head who use the table saw regularly, so i'm not sure i see the benefit for the group to remove it, or place it somewhere it physically can't be used. we DO have the skills to make it an awesome lounge. the classroom is used not only as a gathering space, but as project benches, classroom, and presentation space. most of it's use on wednesdays is project desks that folks gather around.
--offtopic servey, i'll start a thread asking for input on that, but currently it asks about what tools you actually (would) use in the space, how often you're there, contact preferences, updates to membership profiles, of note, some of that we can glean from door use records, but it's not always accurate as folks come in together, or go out to smoke every hour or two.