Labriola Innovation District opens Feb. 9 on Colorado School of Mines campus
In one of the hallmark achievements of the MINES@150 strategic plan, Colorado School of Mines will cut the ribbon on the new Labriola Innovation Hub building and celebrate the completion of the university’s state-of-the-art hands-on project-based learning and making headquarters — the Labriola Innovation District — on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at 12 p.m.
The event, which takes place on Mines Founders Day, will lead into the school’s 150th Birthday Party.
Having a dedicated place on campus where students can innovate, prototype, work in teams and develop into future industry leaders was a dream shared by students, alumni, and lead donors Frank ’52 and Mary Labriola. The multi-building District is comprised of a variety of spaces and programs designed to support and encourage students to be innovators and entrepreneurs, including:
- Labriola Innovation Hub
- xWorks Innovation Spaces
- McNeil Hall
“The Labriola Innovation District further distinguishes Mines among the world’s top universities and is evidence of our commitment to project-based and hands-on learning and developing the next generations of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Mines President Paul C. Johnson. “The physical scale of this investment in innovation and project-based learning is unparalleled, and I can’t wait to see what it unleashes, inspires, and enables. We are incredibly grateful to Frank and Mary Labriola and the others who made this amazing addition to our campus possible.”
The grand opening celebration will take place at the Labriola Innovation Hub, located at 1318 Maple St. in Golden. The Mines community will join Johnson and other university leaders in celebrating this addition to the university’s broader E&I ecosystem, with self-guided tours to follow.
Labriola Innovation Hub
This 37,000-square-foot building has been called the crown jewel of the Mines E&I ecosystem. It centralizes campus makerspaces, adds specialized classrooms and incorporates much-needed student-project meeting spaces—all outfitted with the latest technology and equipment.
This building is also headquarters for the McNeil Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a program established by Denver entrepreneur Charles “Charlie” ’71 and Judy McNeil. It supports early-stage entrepreneurship and innovation programming for students and leads Innov8x design challenges.
In addition to the lead gift from the Labriolas, others contributed to the Innovation Hub, including:
- J. Don ’55 and Lois Thorson supported the Capstone Lab and related equipment so Mines students can tackle real-world challenges in their senior design teams.
- The Clarence V. LaGuardia Foundation named a second-floor conference room where ideas can be workshopped.
- Mines students also agreed to support the construction through the use of one of their existing student fees.
xWorks Innovation Spaces
Next door to the Labriola Innovation Hub, the xWorks Innovation Spaces include 13 large-scale building bays for larger projects such as the SAE Formula I race car teams and gas-to-electric car conversion senior design projects. It also includes a state-of-the-art Engines & Testing Lab, where students can work on traditional and alternative engines research.
McNeil Hall houses state-of-the-art project-based learning classrooms, largely dedicated to first-year design challenge classes. It hosted its first classes in September 2020.
Beck Venture Center
The Beck Venture Center is another key component of Mines’ E&I ecosystem. Located across campus on Washington Street between 17th and 18th streets, it is where students, faculty, alumni and university partners will launch companies and products coming from the activities in the Labriola Innovation District. It is named for lead donors Mike and Kelly Beck, and its opening will be celebrated in April 2024.
If you go
Colorado School of Mines Labriola Innovation District Grand Opening
WHAT: Ribbon cutting, remarks from Mines President Paul C. Johnson and other campus leaders followed by self-guided tours and Mines 150th Birthday Party from 1 to 4 p.m.
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 9 at 12 p.m.
WHERE: 1318 Maple St., Golden, Colorado