cu woodworker

Dennis Coleman, owner of the building and former owner of C U Woodshop Supply, talks about the future plans in the store’s former school space in Champaign.

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About six months after C U Woodshop Supply went out of business, it’s on the way back under two new formats.

Local artist and businessman Brian Knox has purchased rights to the business name and remaining inventory and plans to open a new retail shop under the same name, but in a different location, next month.

And a group of former shareholders in the business are starting a new venture in which woodworkers can buy monthly memberships to access space for their projects, use the equipment and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow woodworkers.

The club venture, called Champaign Woodworkers Club, is being established at 1302 Parkland Court, C, the site of C U Woodshop Supply’s former woodworking school.

Dennis Coleman, who operated C U Woodshop Supply, said he was getting ready to have a going out of business sale when Knox approached him and said he might be interested in trying to continue the business.

“For me, this was a huge thrill, to see this not die, to see it continue,” Coleman said.

Then a group of C U Woodshop Supply’s shareholders/members of the business’ DreamShop, came forward to continue the workshop in a new format in the shop’s former school building.

Essentially, Coleman said, that group is forming a not-for-profit corporation and will be leasing the 1302 Parkland Court building along with tools and machinery, Coleman said.

“In some ways it will be like the old DreamShop, but rather than an ownership relationship, it will be memberships,” he said.

One big difference is there won’t be an up-front buy-in, Coleman said.

Members will pay by the month for use of the shop space and equipment.

One of the Champaign Woodworkers Club’s founding members — former University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, now of Champaign — said additional members are being sought.

Members will have access to a state-of-the art workshop facility with many of the power tools from the former DreamShop and School of Woodworking, he said

Prospective members: See champaignwoodworkers.club.

Knox, a woodworker himself, said he hopes to open the retail shop at a still-undisclosed location in mid- to late October.

He wanted to see this shop continue. Central Illinois has a thriving woodworking community, and there are few stores like C U Woodshop Supply, Knox said.

Hospital has new leader

OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville has a new interim president.

Bradley Solberg, current president of the Pontiac-based OSF Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center, will begin as interim president of the Danville hospital in mid-October, according to OSF HealthCare.

Dr. Jared Rogers, who has been the president of both OSF’s hospitals in Danville and Urbana, will remain president of OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center, Urbana.

Solberg will also continue his duties at OSF Saint James, where he has served as president since 2015.

Law firm addition

James Schmidt has joined the Champaign law firm Meyer Capel.

He will practice in the firm’s Champaign office, concentrating his practice in employment and commercial litigation.

A licensed attorney since 2019, he spent the last two years as a law clerk for Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman.

New salon

Art Nails has opened at 907 W. Marketview Drive, Suite 14, C.

The owner, Ly Bui, formerly operated Tuscola Nails, which has closed.

The salon is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m Sunday.

Closing

Three area Family Video shops will close next month.

The corporate office said Oct. 19 will be the last day for the locations in Urbana (1901 S. Philo Road), Danville (705 N. Gilbert St.) and Rantoul (301 E. Champaign Ave.).

The Champaign Family Video is remaining open, its store manager said.

Deb Pressey can be reached at 393-8258 or dpressey@news-gazette.media.

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