The workshop was built during the early days of monastery development. With the sala and kutis and... just about everything, being built at that time the space under the workshop was just a place for putting things. It has always been underutilised. The plan (as at August 2015) is that it be developed, at the very least, as a tidy storage area. The second possibility and a more likely preference, was to remodel the space as dormitory accommodation, especially for retreats and events. The blue line (drawing left) is the existing road to the workshop. The red line is an approximation of a pedestrian, quad-width track down to the basement. The green rectangle a courtyard out front of the basement area.
We had a lot of guests (April-May 2016) and it was an easy matter to clear out all the 'junk'. There is a photo here of the cleared space before a digger leveled the ground under the building. The digger also cleared the walking track down from the drive way to the basement with minimal impact on trees. We then employed a contractor to lay a concrete slab and Bruce has been busy building with the space almost complete. The space is water-tight and internal wall linings up and nearly ready for paint. The courtyard is gravelled but still needs a retaining wall and general landscaping. In conjunction with the basement work the area behind (where the old compost was) is being rationalised for general materials storage (a better class of junk :).
The work was finished before? vassa and is almost according to the drawings on the right. There are quite a few windows (not shown here) and the space overall has a nice, secluded feel with plenty of light and sun.