Fab Lab ICC will officially open its newly constructed expansion building Monday, October 1, at 2564 Brookside Drive, Independence, Kansas, on the campus of Independence Community College (ICC). The community is invited to drop in from 12 noon to 7 p.m. for tours and refreshments. A grand opening ceremony and chamber of commerce ribbon cutting is planned for 12:15 p.m.
Fab Lab ICC continually works to expand horizons for entrepreneurs, students and learners of all ages, and the new 6,400-square-foot building will provide space for additional resources to accommodate creativity and innovation. The new space will offer state-of-the-art welding stations, a vehicle-sized paint booth, collaborative entrepreneur incubator space, new work tables and offices. Additionally, much of the lab’s current equipment will be relocated to the new building in the Equity Bank Digital Design Studio, recently named in acknowledgment of a $25,000 gift from Equity Bank. The design studio will house a wide media printer, 3D printers, laser printer, vinyl cutters and heat press, among other tools.
Fab Lab Director Jim Correll explained the relocation of some equipment to the more functional new space will free up now crowded areas in the current lab to accommodate other needs, including a growing demand for community meetings, classes and maker events, and an expanding “Sew Fab” sewing space. The lab’s laser engravers and computer-operated wood router also will remain in the current facility.
Correll said the expansion project will help further the organization’s mission to inspire creativity and self-confidence among users.
“At Fab Lab ICC, we strive to be a global leader in the way we combine maker tools and technology with the entrepreneurial mindset,” Correll said. “We believe this is a powerful combination and, when an individual – or community - embraces both, the possibilities are truly endless.
“Our expansion is testament to the way our community has come to understand and support the Fab Lab and the impact it can have on entrepreneurial economic development throughout the region.”
The expansion project broke ground in April and has been collaboratively supported by funds approved by the ICC Board of Trustees, several private donations and a matching grant by the federal Economic Development Administration, for a total construction cost of approximately $700,000. Heckman & Associates, LLC of Independence designed the facility, while Decker Construction of Coffeyville served as general contractor, with help from several Montgomery County sub-contractors.
More information on Fab Lab ICC is available by contacting Correll at firstname.lastname@example.org.