MICHIGAN CITY — Dozens gathered on Feb. 13 for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the STAR (Shared Technology and Resources) Center, 422 Franklin St., where the motto is “Connection, collaboration and innovation.”
The STAR Center is home to La Porte County nonprofits the Unity Foundation, United Way, Drug Free Partnership and Healthy Communities; and space remains for other organizations that may want to set up shop alongside them.
The concept was developed by the late Dr. Robert McBride of the Northern Indiana Education Foundation (NIEF), who wanted to help such organizations keep their operating costs low by allowing them to share resources.
Last year, NIEF allowed the Unity Foundation to rent the 7,000-square-foot building on a 20-year lease at the cumulative cost of $1. The Unity Foundation sublets the space to other nonprofits, with whom they share resources like utilities, technology donated by NIPSCO, conference and meeting rooms, office supplies, appliances, restrooms and more.
Kris Pate, executive director at the United Way, said, “It was so much fun watching this come to fruition. It’s an inspiring place to work and collaborate with others.” Maggi Spartz, president of the Unity Foundation, said, “We’re excited about the future, the things that will come out of this space where we have people co-creating together - the possibilities are endless.”