Spark celebrates grand opening downtown

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Spark open_large

Click here to view a photo gallery of the grand opening.

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Lipscomb University is now part of Nashville’s bustling downtown district with the opening of its latest Spark location at the corner of 4th Avenue North and Commerce Street on Sept. 19.

Spark open_5Nashville Mayor Megan Barry along with Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry and a gathering of business and community leaders were on hand to officially celebrate the opening of Spark, which will offer graduate classes, leadership development programs and event space conveniently located for those who live and work in downtown Nashville.

Lowry said opening a location in downtown is yet another way the university is serving Nashville.

“I’ve said many times in my tenure at Lipscomb that the city is our campus and the world is our classroom,” said Lowry. “Downtown is part of our campus. Through our Spark facility we are bringing our education to the heart of downtown, and we plan to fully engage in the downtown community through service, by being involved and by being a good neighbor. We look forward to being a part of this thriving sector of our city.”

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said she is excited that part of that service will be to gather community members in the Spark space for important and difficult conversation needed to help Nashville advance into the future.

“It is wonderful to be in this space this morning because I do remember standing across the street a year and a half ago and looking at this building, and listening to the dreamers and thinking, ‘okay…I can’t wait to see where this is going to go,’” she said. "And today we walk into this beautiful space and I am once again reminded that the dreamers are what make things possible. So Dr. Lowry, to you and to your team and to the dreamers that are at Lipscomb, we appreciate you and we appreciate all the hands that came together to make this a beautiful space.”

The 20,100-square-feet of office space is located on the ground floor of Nashville’s 4th and Commerce garage, 147B 4th Avenue N. The transformation of that space, which previously sat empty for a decade, began in May 2016. 

Spark open_4John Lowry, vice president for development and external affairs, said he is pleased with the transformation process.

“This space that has been unused for so long has been transformed into a state-of-the-art learning community that will serve those working and living in the downtown area in new and unique ways,” said Lowry. “The space is inviting, the programs that will be offered here will be life-changing and the university’s presence downtown will be yet another way Lipscomb is serving this city and providing access to education in innovative ways.”

Lipscomb University signage adorns the top of the parking structure and is a visible part of the Nashville skyline day and night.

The facility is patterned after the university-operated Spark located in the Cool Springs area in Franklin. This fall in the downtown Spark facility, Lipscomb is offering leadership development initiatives such as its Driving Sales Performance certificate program and its new CEO Connect program, in addition to a full slate of graduate courses. The Well Coffeehouse also opened its third Nashville location in the new Spark facility.

In 2012, Lipscomb launched its first Spark in Cool Springs. Spark integrates people with architecture, technology and expertise for the purpose of inspiring creativity, fostering dialog and enhancing collaboration. 

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