New Kensington, PA—a mere 17 miles from downtown Pittsburgh—was a nineteenth century hub for aluminum manufacturing. Now it’s reinventing itself as a hub for tech innovation, as evidenced by the recent groundbreaking for the Digital Foundry, a lab space that will enable makers, entrepreneurs, businesses, and students to learn about advanced manufacturing processes like 3D printing and digital design.

The 15,000-square-foot facility will be located along five blocks of New Kensington’s main street, aka “The Corridor of Innovation.” The Richard King Mellon Foundation has kicked in $5.5 million for construction costs, and Penn State is contributing $1 million for ongoing operating expenses. The Digital Foundry is expected to open in late 2021.