Noblesville hires firm to study feasibility of learning center

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Noblesville has approved a contract with an architecture and interior design firm to explore the feasibility of a proposed innovation learning center.

The city recently entered into an agreement for an amount not to exceed $40,000 with Luminaut, which is headquartered in Cincinnati and operates in Indianapolis under the name Luminaut | Rowland. The city, which had already budgeted money for the project, intends to use the information that Luminaut gathers to determine if the type of facility is an investment that warrants further exploration, said Andrew Murray, director of economic development.

Murray said the intent behind the contract with Luminaut is to work with the firm and research what best practices are, present scope and cost options. That will help the city to make a more educated decision about the feasibility of a project in Noblesville, Murray said.

Murray added that the city intends to discover answers such as who would use the building and any potential costs or rental fees “in future phases of our due diligence, should we choose to move it forward.”

A memo to the city’s Board of Public Works and Safety by Chuck Haberman, assistant director of economic development for the city, indicated the innovation center would be a multifunctional building that “could include, but not be limited to makerspace, educational and event areas, exhibit space, laboratories, and offices.”

“This space would be specifically designed and programmed for use by stakeholders within our identified targeted industries,” Haberman said.

Murray said the preliminary study will also provide information about the cost, timing, potential programming and partners that would be required to make such a facility successful. The city does not have any identified locations as to where a potential building might be located.

“This initial study will not include public input, as this is purely exploration and feasibility analysis,” Murray said. “Should the city conclude that this type of facility is feasible and worth furthering our due diligence, we’ll work on when and how to move forward with next steps.”

Murray also said the city is working proactively and strategically as it continues to develop the community to remain competitive in the region and across the county.

“Our staff has done a great job of exploring innovative concepts and programming to stay on the cutting edge, which requires a lot of research, investigation and collaboration,” he said.

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