UH students set to move into new state-of-the-art facility inspired by Utah school

The RISE building at UH Manoa will feature both workspaces and dorms.
Published: Jul. 4, 2023 at 4:52 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 4, 2023 at 5:26 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In early August, University of Hawaii students will move into a new state-of-the-art facility that sits next to the Manoa campus.

The Residences for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs, or RISE, was inspired by the University of Utah’s Lassonde Studios.

“This is what we want our students to experience,” said Sandra Fujiyama, executive director of Shidler College’s Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship.

Lassonde has everything Utah’s student entrepreneurs, innovators and creators need. Computers, tools and hardware are spread over a 20,000-square-foot makerspace.

RISE will have that, too. UH took the best of Lassonde’s setup and built it into its own $70 million structure.

“We’re going to have this great big co-working space which can then transform into an even bigger presentation space, so we can showcase Hawaii innovation,” Fujiyama said. “There’s going to be a classroom so that if faculty want to come down and be a part of it and really engage with the students in the space, they can do that. We’re going to have offices, conference rooms, and a recording studio.”

Sacred Hearts graduate Joy Libarios studies engineering at the University of Utah and lives in Lassonde Studios student housing. During her time there, she’s developed two product ideas, a smartphone charger and a kitchen tool.

“I 3D printed a spam musubi maker because one day I was really craving a spam musubi,” she said.

Libarios said RISE will give UH students a place to develop prototypes that may someday turn into products, just like Lassonde does.

“It’s easy for our students to try new things even though they’ve never even tried it before. Since it’s right there it’s great,” she said.

RISE was built on the site of the former Atherton YMCA, and is an extension of PACE.

The buildings have dormitory space for 374 beds plus amenities for student residents. They will have unlimited access to whatever they need to make their creations come to life.

“If students are interested in living in this innovative, cutting-edge space, we’re taking applications. They can apply now at RISE.Hawaii.edu,” Fujiyama said.

To make it affordable, UH is handing out more than $500,000 in scholarships for RISE, and the facility will be open to every student in the UH system.

“We really want every student that is a creator, that is a builder, that has passion to solve challenges that we’re having here in Hawaii, to come in and be a part of this,” Fujiyama said.

In planning RISE, a UH team visited Lassonde. It also asked UH students for input to ensure the Manoa facility meets Hawaii’s needs.