On the morning of February 5th, The Business Innovation Center had a visit from MassDevelopment's Community Development Vice Presidents Eleni Varitimos and Mary Ellen DeFrias. After they were greeted by staff and volunteers, they received a pre-demolition tour of the areas to be renovated—as well as an explanation of the programs and services this construction grant will affect. They expressed excitement with the potential impact of this grant on the economic and social fabric of our community through our programs such as Toastmasters club (which recently achieved Distinguished Presidential Status).
Earlier this month, the BIC began making initial progress towards our May 31 completion goal, as furniture was cleared and demolition began in the part of the building to house the future cafe facilities. Additionally, computer hardware and Virtual Reality equipment was set up and tested for when it will be rental and education—yet another of the many perks that will be made available to BIC members this summer.
The BIC has been buzzing with preparation as our architect, Anton Dias, has measured and massaged plans into place for our quirky layout and non-profit budget. "We really appreciate the work Anton's doing here." said BIC founder, Chris Nielsen "His vision for this place is helping us reach more safety and code upgrade goals that wouldn't have been possible without him steering us in the right direction."
With the architectural plan and the official grant review now complete, hiring is also underway. We have recently brought on team members to launch the cafe and grow our programs and community outreach. We are assembling a top-notch team and the calendar for our summer programs should be released in March. As a preview, we expect to have offerings available in VR program, professional development training, video streaming, multi-media production classes; as well as art shows as part of the social and educational outreach.
It's going to be an exciting few months leading up to summer; stay tuned!