By Paul Burton

HUDSON (CBS) — COVID-19 forced many companies to make a lot of changes in how they do business. Richard Banfield decided to focus on families and kids returning to back school.

As kids start classes remotely, Banfield decided to turn his 14,000 square foot office building into a learning space where parents and students can be free from all the distractions of home.

“Essentially what we are offering is a space where learning can happen,” said Banfield, the owner of Out of Office Coworking in Hudson.

“Maybe the fridge is the distraction, maybe you’re just tired of working at your kitchen table and maybe you’re looking for something that’s a little bit more disciplined,” he said.

For the past few weeks, Banfield has been retrofitting his office space so parents, teachers, and students can rent space here and go to school or work.  Desks are spread out through the room. It has private offices for tutoring, common areas, and a full kitchen.

Andrea Fleck said instead of her kids being crowded at home, her 11-year-old daughter will attend her sixth-grade year here as Fleck takes her college courses online. “I wanted her to have somewhere to go that was practicing the guidelines of COVID-19 but at the same time give her structure, get up and get dressed, and some kind of normalcy,” she said.

Another interesting feature about the office space is that it’s open and available 24 hours a day seven days a week.

“We got a pod of about five or six kids coming in tomorrow with a tutor. We had four tours this week,” Banfield said.

A $200 a month family membership comes with free parking and 24-hour access, but Banfield said it comes with something more important: “It’s a way for us to connect the community back to themselves, they’re an option they can explore beyond the kitchen table, beyond the bedroom,” he said.

Paul Burton

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