UNC Asheville students will have a new space to create their work in fall 2016, with the opening of an innovative space at the River Arts Makers Place (RAMP). The ability to move into and equip the new facility is being funded by a $500,000 grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, an equipment grant of $400,000 from Duke Energy Foundation and $100,000 from North Carolina State University.
“This lab for innovation and collaboration will be a place for students in our Art, Computer Science, New Media and Engineering, and many other majors to develop their talent and to discover what is possible,” said UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary K. Grant. “These makers and entrepreneurs need the space and excellent equipment to do their best work, and in creating this lab with the support of the Windgate Charitable Foundation and Duke Energy Foundation, we are providing the tools to hone their craft, to think critically and creatively and to find solutions for the future. It’s an investment in innovation.”
RAMP is located on Riverside Drive, adjacent to UNC Asheville’s campus. The UNC Asheville Foundation will have a 10-year lease for 11,575 square feet in the facility, customizing the space to meet the needs of students. The Duke Energy Foundation grant, announced in fall 2015, will fund new equipment for UNC Asheville’s engineering program, offered jointly with NC State, which has contributed $100,000 to the lab through the NC State Office of the Provost, Warwick Arden.
“We recognize and underscore the importance of partnerships, establishing our engineering program in the 21st century, with students learning across a range of disciplines to appreciate and excel at problem solving. Our graduates understand the process from inception of an idea to communicating with a client and ultimately delivering results,” said UNC Asheville Provost Joseph Urgo.