By Kristin Schneider
As of Jan. 29, 2019, Fitchburg State University’s ideaLab, located at 717 Main Street in the Theatre Block in downtown Fitchburg, is officially open.
The ideaLab, a long-awaited and much-anticipated project, is a space designed for creativity, innovation, and the pursuit of entrepreneurial projects, programs, and initiatives. There has been talk across campus on the ideaLab and how its space may be used. With even a “think tank” being held last November to allow for the campus and wider community to generate ideas for how to best use the space.
Fitchburg State’s ideaLab is among several projects that have received a grant from the Urban Agenda Grant Program. And on January 17, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced this grant would amount to $500,000, with $60,000 of this going towards the ideaLab.
The Urban Agenda Grant Program, according to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development on mass.gov, is “focused on promoting economic vitality and cultivating safer, stronger urban neighborhoods across the state.”
The money given to the ideaLab will be used to fund various projects and programs that will aid in spreading the project’s message. In a press release, FSU President Lapidus said that the project “…embodies the collaborative spirit that will help renew downtown Fitchburg and supports the continued growth of its creative economy.”
“We are grateful for the Baker-Polito Administration’s support of the ideaLab, where we hope to continue linking the university’s facilities and faculty and student expertise to the community’s needs,” says Lapidus, according to the Fitchburg State website.
The project is one of the spaces Fitchburg State University has bought in downtown Fitchburg, and there is hope that projects like this one will help to not only bridge the gap between the campus and the surrounding area but bring more life to the town as well.