Reno, Nevada’s downtown Innevation Center Powered by Switch has temporarily been forced to shut its doors just a few days after its invite-only inauguration event. The event was the formal opening of the center, but for the time being, the building will not be available to the public while the staff waits for final inspections.
The collaborative, downtown venture between the University of Nevada, Reno and Switch was originally set to open. Jane Tors, UNR’s communication director, explained that the university informed the state of the inauguration as well as the inspection delays, and they were given permission to continue with it.
“There are two final inspections that have to be completed,” Tors said. “It’s a timing issue. It’s not a statement about construction.”
Tors said that the staff is still waiting on a certificate of occupancy, which confirms that the building is in compliance with local government building codes and laws, and is suitable for occupants. Washoe County’s Department of Building and Safety has set requirements for the certificate which include inspections from different departments and agencies like the County Road Department, District Health Department and Fire Department.
Tors disclosed that some technological infrastructure was still being worked on up to the opening event, so inspections were not able to be scheduled. According to her, the university hopes to have the issues resolved soon, but there is no set time on when the Center will be completely ready for the influx of new ideas, projects and research.
The Innevation Center is expected to build a stronger connection between UNR and downtown Reno. The city, which seems to be in a constant state of development, is seeing an art and food culture explosion that has very quickly changed its image. Now, the public can also look forward to a deeper integration of engineering, science and technology in the area. The university hopes the Center will bring businesses and investors in the industry to Reno.
According to Mridul Gautam, UNR’s vice president for research and innovation, a goal for the Center is to facilitate the development of ideas into tangible creations. He said that everybody will be welcome to the Center, not just those who study engineering, math or science, and encourages the general public to see what the building has to offer.
“The Innevation Center is a place where the community can come together,” Gautam said. “It provides a place where if [people] think of something, there will be people there to help them realize that idea.”
The Innevation Center will house many unique devices for designing, forging and producing like high-tech 3D printers. If a person can dream up and blueprint their idea, there will be mentors and equipment available to help them make those ideas a reality.
The Center will be free to students, alumni, emeritus and other faculty from UNR, and welcomes the public through memberships and daily passes.
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