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Spy Hop Announces Groundbreaking Celebration

Salt Lake City— Spy Hop, a non-profit youth media arts organization and the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (“RDA”) invite the public and local media to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for Spy Hop’s new headquarters on Friday, August 2. Located at 208 W. 900 South in the RDA’s West Temple Gateway Project Area, the new 22,000-square-foot building will house Spy Hop’s offices, programming and classroom space, production facilities, and a community event and performance venue. 

The groundbreaking event will start with food trucks at 11:30 a.m., with an official program beginning at 12:30 p.m. The program will be led by Spy Hop Executive Director Kasandra VerBrugghen, with comments from Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and City Council Member/RDA Board Chair Amy Fowler. Additional speakers include Utah State Senator Derek Kitchen, Spy Hop Capital Campaign Co-Chair Zeke Dumke IV, U.S. Congressman Ben McAdams, and Spy Hop student, Steven Uribe.

“Our new state-of-the-art center has been a labor of love of our board, our staff, and our capital campaign committee for many years now”, said Ms. VerBrugghen. “We are thrilled that it is finally coming to fruition. We are grateful for the RDA’s partnership and humbled by the support we’ve received from our community to build a creative legacy that will serve the young people of Utah for many years to come.”

Spy Hop was selected through a public, competitive process by the RDA, which specifically sought out a community-oriented organization to redevelop the surface parking lot on the northwest corner of 200 West and 900 South, a key intersection in the Central Ninth neighborhood. Since 1987, the RDA has been working in Central Ninth’s encompassing West Temple Gateway Project Area to improve infrastructure, create connectivity, increase transportation access, and support the development of neighborhood-scale commercial and residential buildings. 

“This community-oriented project is one of the final steps in the RDA’s work to establish an active neighborhood business district for the Central Ninth area,” said Mayor Biskupski. “Spy Hop has been serving the creative youth community of Salt Lake City for the past 20 years, and it’s my honor to welcome them to the Central Ninth neighborhood to continue their important work.”

To make this project possible, the RDA conducted environmental remediation, and was approved by its Board of Directors to provide Spy Hop with a $1 million forgivable loan and a $487,000 write-down on the sale of the property. Designed by Atlas Architects and to be built by Okland Construction, the project received financing through Ally Bank, and additional financial support from the State of Utah, and a number of generous foundations.

“Spy Hop’s faculty, volunteers, and students will bring daily activity to the Central Ninth neighborhood, which will contribute to the success of surrounding local businesses, increase use of the 900 South TRAX stop, and greatly add to walkability.” added City Council Member and RDA Board Chair Amy Fowler. 

About Spy Hop:

Spy Hop is a digital media arts education center offering project-based programming in Salt Lake City and across the state of Utah for students K-12 of all skill levels and aspirations. Our mission is to mentor young people in the digital media arts to help them find their voice, tell their stories, and be empowered to affect positive change in their lives, their communities, and the world. We meet young people where they are in their lives and invite them to tell their stories through film, music, audio and design. Our model combines youth development, arts education, and career preparation to empower young people to gain the skills they need to be successful. More info Spyhop.org.

About the RDA: 
The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA) works to revitalize Salt Lake City’s neighborhoods and business districts to improve livability, spark economic growth, and foster authentic communities, serving as a catalyst for strategic development projects that enhance the City’s housing opportunities, commercial vitality, and public spaces. For more information on programs, groundbreaking events, and current projects visit www.slcrda.com

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