Forsyth Tech officially opened its newest location today at 525@vine in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, which is now home to the college’s Business & Industry Services Division.
525@vine, a former tobacco factory that was recently redeveloped and renovated into a mixed-used laboratory and office building, houses Forsyth Tech’s R. J. Reynolds Corporate Training Center, BB&T Biotechnology Program, Wells Fargo Nanotechnology Program, National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce, BioNetwork and Small Business Center.
The opening ceremony featured remarks by college and Innovation Quarter officials followed by media tours of the renovated space.
“We are excited to be expanding our presence into Winston-Salem’s vibrant downtown,” said Forsyth Tech President Dr. Gary Green. “Our location in the Innovation Quarter reflects the vision of the college to bring together services for business and industry under one roof where we can intersect with the business community as our client instead of the individual student.
“Here in the Innovation Quarter, we are at the epicenter of local economic development, making our business services more accessible than ever before, and creating opportunities to build new and even stronger collaborations that support the growing needs of our business community.”
Forsyth Tech’s 24,000 square feet of innovative work space at the Innovation Quarter was funded with $7 million raised through its Momentum Capital Campaign, which came to a conclusion in 2013, and includes lab facilities, computer labs, flexible classroom and meeting room space as well as small and large collaborative work areas.
Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter will serve more than 1,200 students each year as well as a growing number of corporate clients and small business owners through the:
- J. Reynolds Corporate Training Center, which supports the college’s corporate training partnership programs and provides services for Innovation Quarter tenants
- Small Business Center, which offers workshops, seminars, individual business counseling and a resource library for business owners and entrepreneurs
- Lab facilities for the college’s Wells Fargo Nanotechnology Program, the only two-year nanotechnology program in the southeast
- BB&T Biotechnology Program, the largest biotech program of any community college in the state, and
- Offices for BioNetwork, the statewide biotechnology workforce initiative run by the North Carolina Community College System.
The 525@vine building was constructed in 1926 by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and used as a blending and processing plant. In restoring and renovating the 234,000-square foot building, the new owner, Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company, employed both state and federal tax credits that are available to qualified developers of income-producing spaces in historic industrial structures.