SEDRO-WOOLLEY — Skagit County’s first coworking space is open for business in downtown Sedro-Woolley.

Skagit Connection Hub is a shared workspace that offers an alternative to working at home or at a coffee shop.

The main work area features two large tables, two lounge chairs and counter seating that runs the length of the room.

Around the corner is a 10-person conference room equipped with whiteboards and a large presentation TV that can be used for video calls.

With prices set for various levels of use, the public and hub members can utilize the workspace and its fiber network every day of the week. Members have the added perk of using the space 24/7.

On Tuesday, owner Mike McIver and wife Amy Boettcher celebrated the hub’s grand opening with community members and business leaders.

Pointing out the daytime lights that keep the space comfortably bright no matter how stormy it gets and the smooth wooden furniture McIver built himself, the two explained how Skagit Connection Hub came to be.

It all started with a need.

Working as a full-time remote employee for a data and software company, McIver said he quickly realized the need for fast, reliable internet.

Comcast and Wave just didn’t cut it for the massive downloads and uploads he was working with.

At one point, McIver said one of his uploads was scheduled to take eight days. With fiber internet, that same upload was done in three minutes.

Knowing he wasn’t the only person dealing with these issues, McIver began thinking of a space that would benefit not only working professionals but also students and everyday community members.

Sedro-Woolley Mayor Julia Johnson said she was all for it when she heard of McIver’s idea six months ago.

Being married to a former Microsoft employee, Johnson said she understands the importance of having access to a strong connection to the web.

“There is a great need for this kind of business,” she said Tuesday. “This is an opportunity for people to have good internet access.”

In addition to fiber internet and ample workspace, the hub offers unlimited tea and coffee, power outlets, USB charging ports and keycode door access to ensure safety after normal business hours.

By being located in downtown — the hub is at 221 Ferry St. — Boettcher said the hope is for people to come use the space instead of spending hours commuting.

“The whole point is to save time so people can be with their families,” she said.

— Reporter Leah Allen: 360-416-2149, lallen@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Leah_SVH

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