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AEP Ohio Grant Enhances Makerspace, Fosters Community Partnerships

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — The Area Development Foundation of Knox County recently accepted a grant from AEP Ohio for $16,250. This grant will be spent to purchase a CNC lathe for Knox Labs, a community makerspace housing in Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s new engineering building in downtown Mount Vernon.

Located at 104 S. Main St. in Mount Vernon, the new 5,500-square-foot renovated space is on schedule to open in September 2018. This facility will be a useful environment for students and community members alike to work together, learn, and develop their skills.

“Our makerspace will help us grow our community’s science, engineering and create a place from which residents can launch new business opportunities,” said Jeffry Harris, president, Area Development Foundation of Knox County.

Todd Celmar, board member, Knox Labs, added that the purchase of the CNC lathe is a “significant addition” to the nonprofit.

“It expands our ‘making’ capacity, allowing Knox County makers to produce prototypes through a computer-controlled manufacturing process. CNC lathes are integral components in many makerspaces around the world.”

“It is our firm conviction that the collaboration between MVNU, Knox Labs, Kenyon College, and the community will be a source of innovation, cooperation, and education for years to come in Mount Vernon. Our engineering students will be able to participate in ongoing projects that will enhance their educational experience. I am excited by the possibilities,” said MVNU President Henry W. Spaulding II, Ph.D.

According to Denny Taylor, Director of Special Projects at MVNU, the construction of the new engineering facility is moving right along. Window openings have been cut into the front of the building, brick has been laid on the exterior, drywall hanging is ongoing, and painting has begun on the lower level.

MVNU offers a major in General Engineering with concentrations in mechanical and electrical engineering.

For more information about MVNU engineering, visit

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 28 states and 17 countries/U.S. territories.