The new Lassonde Studios building is close to being finished, and 412 students have already moved in to its residence quarters. Construction is still going, scheduled to be completed in time for its open house on Sept. 22. Signs are getting their finishing touches and the last construction project is the landscaping.
The building is state-of-the-art, with open spaces for students to meet and collaborate, workshop spaces and four floors of student residential space. Each residential floor has a theme and offers one of three different layouts. One layout has dorm-style rooms with a common living area, while another consists of apartments designed to house three to four students each. There are also pods, consisting of rooms and kitchenettes combined in one section on each floor.
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute was founded in 2001. With over 20 programs, it encourages students to collaborate on startups and create new innovations.
“There were multiple needs for this building. We’ve been growing very quickly over the last five to 10 years, and we have a lot of programs. We needed a home base where we could pull the programs together and make more of them,” said marketing and public relations manager Thad Kelling.
The open house on Sept. 22 will give the public an opportunity to explore the new building. From 12:30-1:30 p.m., people can take a tour of the building, including the residential floors and even some of the individual rooms. There are metal and woodworking shops, a business center and a café on the main floor that the public can explore.
There are a few minor construction projects going on before the open house but students moved into the residential spaces last Thursday.
“The building is finished. Everything will be done, installed and operational well before the dedication,” said Kelling.
Plans for Lassonde Studios began five years ago and were inspired by Pierre Lassonde. His vision for the $45 million facility was to create a space for student entrepreneurs where they could have collaborative experiences creating innovations and launching companies.
There are no classrooms or staff offices in the Lassonde building. The idea is to have open spaces and workshops for students to explore and design creations. Every U student has access to the main floor of the building; not just the students who live there.
Those students who do live in the resident spaces have access to the building 24/7, including the main floor and workshops. The main floor is open to all U students from 7 a.m.-1 a.m. Different areas of the building such as the workshops and business center are run by students, giving them the opportunity to be leaders.
In addition to the open house, Lassonde Studios hosts various events and parties for students. A calendar of events and more information about the various programs can be found at www.lassonde.utah.edu.