Crews began digging on the Colorado School of Mines (Mines) main campus for the new Labriola Innovation Center. Thanks to a generous gift from alumnus Frank Labriola and his wife, Mary, the uniquely designed Labriola Complex, modeled similarly to Colorado State University’s Richardson Design Center, will be home to department office spaces and the new Labriola Innovation Hub – a 37,260-square-foot building featuring diverse spaces that support team-based ideation, prototyping, testing and optimization for physical and software-based projects.
The $19.4 million innovation complex will provide collaborative spaces including machine/metals lab, a capstone lab, wood/prototyping lab, 2D/3D print lab, software makerspace, electronics lab, flexible classrooms for various uses, conference rooms, student project bays, and an engines lab. The main lobby will also host a café serving food and beverages, with a bright and welcoming design that adds to the complex’s sleek, inspiring and modern aesthetic. See below for a short description of each of the unique spaces:
- Cornerstone Project Space: Serving 600 students per semester, this space will allow Cornerstone Design @ Mines students to gain practical and creative problem-solving skills needed to develop a better understanding of technical design. It will allow students to work in teams as they learn and apply technical, hands-on and communication skills.
- Machine/Metals Lab: This space will enhance students’ hands-on experience and safety with machines and metal work. It will include advanced tooling and equipment like CNC lathe, metal laser cutter, welding stations and digital fabrication.
- Wood/Prototyping Lab: This space will provide woodworking equipment including band scroll and saws, drill press, sanders, planers and wood lathe for students to hone their handcrafting skills while prototyping.
- Electronics Lab: This space supports campus-wide electronic projects with equipment needed such as circuit board printers and soldering stations.
- 2D/3D Print Lab: Acting primarily as a student project support space, this lab includes 3D Markforged printers, resin printers, scanners and large format 2D printing of posters and design plans.
- Software Makerspace: In a technology-driven world with software, coding and digital components frequently playing a role in the education environment, this makerspace includes flexible workspaces equipped with large monitors and plug-in capabilities, glass dividers, dropdown screens and projects for project/data driven visualization.
- Engines Lab: This dedicated research space will allow students to operate large-scale equipment and engines for research related to diesel engines, alternative fuels and advanced combustion strategies. It will maximize safety and minimize distraction with the infrastructure and insulation built into the ground to accommodate vibrations and noise.
Mines has a strong commitment to hands-on learning, interdisciplinary teamwork and innovation, making the Labriola Complex the perfect space for students to apply their problem-solving skills on real-life projects and promote an entrepreneurial spirit. The building’s design incorporates large full glass windows throughout, allowing visibility into the design process for passersby to be inspired by other students and entrepreneurs. Set to be completed in March 2023, the Labriola Innvoation Center will also promote sustainability practices on campus and is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.