Construction begins on Mines’ Labriola Innovation Hub
Watch for construction crews to start digging behind the Mines Museum on the Colorado School of Mines campus this month. That’s when building begins on the long-awaited Labriola Innovation Hub, which is projected to open by January 2023.
The 37,000-square-foot building, located near 13th and Maple streets, is the state-of-the-art centerpiece of the Mines Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem and the Labriola Innovation Complex. It was made possible by a generous lead gift from Frank ’52 and Mary Labriola of Phoenix, Arizona.
Mines stands apart among engineering and applied science universities because of its dedication to hands-on learning. The $18.6 million building doubles down on that commitment with spaces that magnify interdisciplinary teamwork and creativity, including maker spaces, project team spaces, creativity and collaboration spaces and design project classrooms. It will also be home for project-based competition teams, like the American Society of Civil Engineers concrete canoe, and maker- and hacker-oriented clubs.
The new building is designed by OZ Architecture and will be LEED Gold certified. Saunders Construction is currently mobilized and will begin site utility work soon.
The creation-focused Labriola Innovation Hub is the second building in the university’s three-legged E&I ecosystem to break ground. McNeil Hall, with a focus on learning, opened in Fall 2020. The Beck Venter Center, with a focus on launching, should begin construction in spring 2022.
The Labriolas said they supported in E&I at Mines because they recognize the social importance of competition, incentive and innovation. Frank was a successful entrepreneur who founded Pimalco, a company that manufactured lightweight hard-allow aluminum for the aerospace industry. After retiring, he sold the company to Alcoa. The Labriolas’ generous investment is helping to elevate engineering education at Mines to a more sophisticated and integrated level.