WVU’s Craft Center is back in business but with reduced capacity.

Located in the basement of Braxton Tower in the Evansdale Residential Complex, the Craft Center was shuttered last year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Student Affairs gave Campus Recreation permission to reopen the center after COVID-19 cases recently decreased this semester.

The Craft Center reopened for a short time last October but was shut down again in November due increased cases of COVID-19 on campus.

The center decided to allow a limited number of students inside at a time in order to prevent spread of the virus. Students must book a time slot online to allow the center to track who attended in case there is an outbreak.

David Buchanan, the craft center manager, says that despite the pandemic, the center is running very similar to previous years.

“We’re pretty much rolling full steam ahead,” Buchanan said.

However, there has also been a change of supplies being utilized with restrictions on certain materials

“Last semester, we did cut back on the clay. We didn’t use that because there wasn’t enough time,” Buchanan said. “This semester we have a lot more time. We got that going. The volume of people is less, but people are getting down here and using the clay, so that’s good.”

Buchanan also emphasized the measures the Craft Center is going through to keep its attendees safe.

“We have people spaced out, only so many people in a certain area,” he said. “We also have a big spray gun and spray everything down.”

Sienna Kohler, a student worker at the Craft Center, says it is a great place to go for students to relax and meet new people.

“There’s a lot of stuff to do around here. Everyone is super helpful. If you need a friend, someone to hang out with, we’re always here,” Kohler said. “We like meeting new people; it’s just a really judgement free zone.”

Buchanan emphasized the community aspect of the Craft Center and openness to all types of students.

“It's a good little place just for people to hang out, try something new and relax a little. We’re pretty accepting of all types, so everybody comes in,” said Buchanan. “You can kind of just hang out and not worry about anything.”

The Craft Center hopes to begin offering outside activities to allow more students to attend.

Students who are interested in attending the Craft Center can go to the campus recreation site for more information. They can then click on the Craft Center tab and read more about their activities, hours and COVID-19 precautions.

To sign up, students can either download the WVU Go app or visit the WVU Go website and book a time slot between noon to 6 p.m. Capacity is limited to four people at a time.

Students can choose from several activities including pottery painting, bead-work, stained glass, glass fusion, tie-dye and sewing.

If students have any more questions, they can e-mail campusrec@mail.wvu.edu or call (304) 293-7529.