PA Wilds Media Lab grand opening slated for September 26
Open house from 1-4 to include tours, information stations
KANE, Pa. – PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. is proud to announce it will hold a grand opening for the PA Wilds Media Lab on Tuesday, September 26.
The public is invited to view the space and learn about the partnerships that made it possible during a grand opening open house from 1-4 p.m. at the facility. A formal ribbon cutting ceremony with speakers will take place at 1:30 p.m.
Located at 61 N. Fraley St., 2nd Floor, the PA Wilds Media Lab is one of the first brick-and-mortar facilities operated by the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship (PA Wilds Center), the nonprofit charged with coordinating the regional strategy to promote the rural 13-county region and its tremendous public land base as a premier outdoor recreation destination and way to stimulate and help revitalize rural economies. The PA Wilds Media Lab will feature tools, technologies and classroom space to support the nonprofit’s expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem and its regional partnership work. For example, the site will include audio-visual tools and spaces, a product photography room and equipment, workshops and more. Artisans, small business owners and organizations who are participating in the Wilds Cooperative of PA, a free network that brings together and uplifts Pennsylvania Wilds stakeholders, will be able to utilize these resources and learn from each other in this space.
Following the grand opening, the Media Lab will be open by appointment only during normal business hours Monday through Thursday. A reservation system for using the space will be available at WildsCoPA.org/media-lab/.
Renovations to the 5000-square-foot Media Lab space began in earnest in April 2019, when a Request for Proposals seeking a construction firm was issued. J.A. Luciano & Sons Builders of Bradford was selected for the project. Work began in December 2019; however, workforce and supply chain disruptions during the pandemic delayed the project’s construction timeline and opening.
“The PA Wilds Design Guide for Community Character Stewardship, 2nd Edition, and our PA Wilds Brand Principles were guiding documents for the entire project and helped ensure materials and approaches selected were authentic to the region’s unique character and heritage,” said Ta Enos, PA Wilds Center founder and CEO. “We also worked with local craftsmen and companies to create as much local economic impact as possible. We are incredibly proud of the end result and cannot wait to share it with the region.”
The site of the Media Lab was chosen due to its proximity to key leadership staff at the PA Wilds Center as well as the PA Wilds Conservation Shop at Kinzua Bridge State Park, the first brick-and-mortar gift shop managed by the PA Wilds Center. Situated on the second floor of an older Main Street-type building, the PA Wilds Media Lab renovation serves as an energy-efficiency model for similar enhancements in rural downtowns across the PA Wilds and beyond.
PA Wilds Center contracted with Sixty Foot Films to document the construction process via photographs and video. These materials will be woven together and featured in an interpretive display in the main entry to the PA Wilds Media Lab, which provides access to an elevator via a direct connection to Six&Kane, the adjacent building owned by 63 Fraley Street, LLC, and made possible by an investment by the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF).
“Elevators are not common to these old downtown buildings, but it was important to us that this space be accessible to all people,” said Enos. “We were fortunate to have West Penn Power as a partner who was interested in overcoming the same obstacle next door, and we worked closely with them to ensure access to the Media Lab as well. This offers an example for how building owners can collaborate to offer shared accessibility to their upper floors and to create even more economic opportunities for those spaces.”
The Media Lab’s neighbor, Six&Kane – located at 63 North Fraley Street – was renovated to the Passive House “EnerPhit” standard of energy efficiency, which reduces the building’s energy footprint and allows for ultra-low energy use related to heating and cooling. The project transformed a vacant three-story masonry building that was originally constructed in 1897 and turned it into an energy efficiency showcase that houses a coffee bar, a local economic development organization and workshop spaces that can serve the growing community. The investment has garnered international recognition as the first commercial retrofit of an older Main Street building to Passive House standards.
The PA Wilds Media Lab renovations, technology, and exhibits were made possible by financial investments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF), PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA Council on the Arts, Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Collins Companies Foundation, North Central PA Regional Planning and Development Commission, U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Northwest Bank Charitable Foundation, The Conservation Fund, and the building owners, the Laughing Owl Press Co. as well as in-kind donations from Envinity Inc., timber donations through the Allegheny Hardwoods Utilization Group and many volunteer hours donated by creative entrepreneurs and organizations participating in the ecosystem.
Learn more about the PA Wilds Media Lab at WildsCoPA.org/media-lab/.
ABOUT THE PA WILDS
The Pennsylvania Wilds is a 13-county region that includes the counties of Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren, and northern Centre. The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to integrate conservation and economic development in a way that inspires the communities of the Pennsylvania Wilds. The PA Wilds Center promotes the region and its 2+ million acres of public lands as a premier outdoor recreation destination as a way to diversify local economies, inspire stewardship, attract investment, retain population and improve quality of life. The PA Wilds Center’s core programs seek to help businesses leverage the PA Wilds brand and connect with new market opportunities, including: the Wilds Cooperative of PA, a network of more than 575 place-based businesses and organizations, and the PA Wilds Conservation Shop, a retail outlet primarily featuring products sourced from the WCO. For more information on the PA Wilds Center, visit www.PAWildsCenter.org. To learn more about the WCO, visit www.WildsCoPA.org. Explore the PA Wilds at www.PAWilds.com. Find regionally made products at www.ShopThePAWilds.com.
Britt Madera | Communications Manager
PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc.
[email protected] | 570-948-1051