ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The old Noonday Ministries soup kitchen at Central and Broadway Downtown has gone from feeding the homeless to feeding creative innovation and entrepreneurship in the heart of Albuquerque.
Central New Mexico Community College invested $1.2 million to convert the building into a premier community makerspace where people can turn bright ideas into new products and services. The newly remodeled, 13,000-square-foot FUSE Makerspace officially opened its doors on Sept. 26 as a key component of Innovate ABQ, the public-private partnership project that aims to transform the old 7-acre First Baptist Church property Downtown into a high-tech research and development hub for entrepreneurship and startup incubation.
The facility, located on the southwest corner of the site, sits kitty-corner to the new six-story Lobo Rainforest building that the University of New Mexico inaugurated in August. It will provide Rainforest-based innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers direct access to cutting-edge equipment and tools to prototype new products and technologies. It will also offer the Albuquerque community in general an affordable makerspace for aspiring entrepreneurs and even hobbyists to create custom-made goods for almost any Main Street business.
“The FUSE Makerspace fits in perfectly with the Innovate ABQ vision to create a central location where creativity, entrepreneurship and education combine to support an economic resurgence in central New Mexico,” said CNM President Kathie Winograd.
CNM originally launched FUSE in 2016 at a 3,000-square-foot space on campus. But that rapidly grew cramped with more than 300 users taking advantage of all the equipment, tools, training and mentoring services it offers.