Labriola Innovation District to Launch at Colorado School of Mines

On February 9, 2024, the Colorado School of Mines will inaugurate the Labriola Innovation District, a significant achievement of the MINES@150 strategic plan, marking the university’s commitment to hands-on project-based learning. The opening corresponds with the University’s Founders Day and the celebration of its 150th birthday.

The Labriola Innovation District harbors one of the largest collections of innovation and makerspaces on US university campuses. Dedicated to fostering innovation, prototyping, teamwork, and cultivating future industry pioneers, the newly established district is the realization of a shared vision amongst students, alumni, and lead donors, Frank and Mary Labriola.

The campus president, Paul C. Johnson, expressed enthusiasm about the grand opening, lauding the district as a testament to Mines’ standing amongst global top-tier universities. He credits the unprecedented scale of investment in innovation and project-based learning as a catalyst for fostering novel ideas and enterprise.

Located at 1318 Maple St., Golden, the new Innovation District consists of several buildings catering to different aspects of innovation. The Labriola Innovation Hub, the district’s centerpiece with its 37,000 square feet, consolidates makerspaces, adds specialized classrooms, and includes essential student-project meeting spaces equipped with the latest technology.

Notably, the Hub is also home to the McNeil Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, bestowed by Denver entrepreneur Charles and Judy McNeil. In addition to the pivotal contribution from the Labriolas, other benefactors such as J. Don and Lois Thorson, the Clarence V. LaGuardia Foundation, and Mines students, through an existing student fee, contributed to the Innovation Hub’s establishment.

The District also encompasses the McNeil Hall, housing state-of-the-art project-based learning classrooms, and xWorks Innovation Spaces, offering large-scale building bays for substantial student projects. The district also includes the forthcoming Beck Venture Center, a platform for launching companies and products developed in the Innovation District and whose opening is slated for April 2024.

The Labriola Innovation District grand opening will entail a ribbon cutting, speeches from the university’s leadership, self-guided tours, and the Mines 150th Birthday Party from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, February 9, 2024.

Source: Press Release