When the new branch of the Maricopa County Library system is completed in Goodyear later this year, it could include expanded space for the business leaders of tomorrow to work and brainstorm through a partnership in an incubator program with Arizona State University.
During the Goodyear City Council work session on July 8, Tracy Lea, venture manager at Arizona State University’s SkySong incubator center unveiled its Alexandria Model, a program that will be inside an approximate 1,000-square-foot room in the new Goodyear branch library to serve as an entrepreneur and innovation center for those pursuing business ideas. The Alexandria concept is derived from a centuries-old library purpose dating as far back as 300 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt, where townspeople came together to discuss issues, solve problems and expand on ideas.
The city council will vote on finalizing the agreement with ASU on the incubator program after it returns from its summer break.
City leaders were excited to see the presentation for the program, which will provide entrepreneurs of all ages the tools, resources and mentors to get on the pathway of development and establish themselves in the community.
“We appreciate SkySong because we know of its successes,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said. “We are so excited about this partnership and look forward to hearing the successes that generate from our local entrepreneurs.”
Having a business “incubator” in Goodyear is one of City Council’s initiatives and the city’s Economic Development Department has been working with SkySong in south Scottsdale to make center a reality in Goodyear.
SkySong’s Tracy Lea said the center also could have a military focus as Luke expects to see $260 million of construction over the next decade.
During the meeting, Lea said, “The Alexandria Concept will create a wonderful pipeline for development. “It’s been extraordinary working with this group of people in this city, and, I believe this is such a rich environment for this to take flight.”
“The West Valley has some amazing growth right now,” Lea added. “Goodyear is creating a terrific growth pattern in and of itself.”
The library, which is budgeted at $1.1 million, will include 9,600-square-feet that will feature a 1,600-square-foot multi-purpose room in addition to the 8,000-square-feet of library space. Design work for the library is on schedule to be completed by the end of July and construction beginning as early as August.