The life of Trustee Lindsay Atwood was celebrated Nov. 8 at the Atwood Innovation Plaza ribbon cutting.
Atwood died Oct. 31 from health-related complications, according to an article from the Dixie Sun News.
While the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the opening of a new building, it also paid tribute to Atwood who was a big part of creating this building.
Innovation Plaza is named after Atwood because of his large donations and involvement in creating the building.
President Richard “Biff” Williams said Atwood was a very successful entrepreneur and innovator and he is honored to dedicate this building to him.
“I was so impressed with the mentorship he was constantly providing to students,” Williams said. “The students knew he cared.”
Innovation Plaza used to be an old elementary school, and many wanted to tear it down and build a fresh, new building, Williams said. All Atwood could think of was how the building would be perfect for the kids and having it stay similar to the elementary school would make kids feel welcomed.
Don Willie, executive director of the technology, innovation and engineering center, said Atwood was at Innovation Plaza every day during the remodel helping where he could. He demanded results and those results happened because of his dedication.
“We want to celebrate the amazing life he led and his legacy will live on through Atwood Innovation Plaza,” Willie said.
What Atwood Innovation Plaza has to offer
All of the design work in the building was made in the Makerspace, an area that allows people to design and create whatever they want to potentially start a business, Willie said.
When you first walk into Innovation Plaza, there is a map of the building that was hand-carved in the Makerspace as well as wood carvings in the shape of a hexagon; each one dedicated to the donors of Innovation Plaza. “If you are putting together a building that’s all about design and entrepreneurship, it only makes sense to do all of the design work ourselves,” Willie said.
There is a beehive theme throughout the entire building since the building is not just for the students, but the community as well. Since the symbol for Utah is a beehive, it was incorporated into the design to create a feeling that this space is for everyone.
“This will be the premier center for entrepreneurship for Southern Utah,” Willie said.
Innovation Plaza has everything an entrepreneur would need to make a successful business, Willie said. There is a woodshop, a metal shop, the Makerspace, a resource center, a biological research lab, a podcast room and a pitch room, where entrepreneurs can pitch their business ideas and get them approved or not by a panel of judges.
“Innovation plaza is an extraordinary perhaps unprecedented juxtaposition of widely diverse people and programs all connected by a common pursuit of innovation,” said Provost Michael Lacourse.
Willie said they want the building to eventually be open 24/7, so everyone, no matter their work or school schedule, can use the facility.
“I am excited to see the lives this center will change,” Williams said.
Atwood Innovation Plaza is located at 453 S. 600 E. and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/AtwoodInnovationPlazaDSU.