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Doug Fisher, general manager at Kansas Crossing Casino, shakes hand with Shawn Naccarato, chief strategy officer, at The Foundary at Block22 Monday, Nov. 18. Kansas Crossing Casino made a three-year investment of $60,000 to the The Foundry. Courtesy of Pittsburg State University

Kansas Crossing commits funds to the Foundry

The Kansas Crossing Casino and The Foundry at Block22 in Downtown Pittsburg recently reached a three-year investment making Kansas Crossing the first founding member of The Foundry. The total investment is a $60,000 commitment.  

“We are honored to be the very first founding member of The Foundry,” said Kansas Crossing general manager Doug Fisher to PSU director of media relations Andra Stefanoni. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with PSU and the entire community for many years to come.”  

Kansas Crossing has commited to supporting Pittsburg State University since the business opened its doors and have been a ‘great community partner’ according to PSU chief strategy officer Shawn Naccarato who also plays a leading role at Block22 as the head of University Strategic Initiatives 

“As we moved toward completion of The Foundry at Block22, we began discussion with Kansas Crossing about a specific strategic partnership to support our economic development work and programs,” said Naccarato. “We’re extremely honored and excited Kansas Crossing was willing to invest in this place and in our vision for downtown and beyond.”  

Partnerships such as the one between PSU and Kansas Crossing become essential to advancing the mission of PSU as a transformative experience for students and community members. Strategic partnership, support from businesses and community organizations such as Kansas Crossing help insure the community connectivity, relevance and impact. Funds from The Foundry corporate membership program will support operations, continuous growth and improve program offerings. The funds will also help keep membership costs and program access fees as low as possible for students and community members.  

Block22 is an innovative district created through redevelopment of the first four commercial buildings in the heart of historic downtown Pittsburg. Block22 is transforming the heart of Pittsburg reestablishing the Downtown District as a vibrant living-learning, work and play destination designed to serve as a hub for economic growth and shared prosperity, not only for Pittsburg but for the entire region. In addition to apartments for 99 students on the upper floors, the first floors include three new restaurants, a student retail incubator, coffee shop and The Foundry. 

“The vision for The Foundry, which occupies 18,000 square feet of the first floors of the two buildings on the east side of Broadway, is nothing short of a regional bio-dome to advance entrepreneurship, innovation, economic growth and opportunity for the entire region,” Naccarato said.  

The Foundry houses a variety of university economic support, government and community engagement resources along with a vibrant co-work business community and various meeting/conference room resources.  

“This Spring we have targeted the launch of The Pitsco Idea Shop, made possible through another strategic partnership with another key private partner – Pitsco Education,” Naccarato said.  

The Foundry is now seeking additional corporate memberships. Given the benefits of the highest level of partnership, the company will have a limited number of spots on the Founder membership level. The Foundry also encourages anyone interested in exploring corporate membership options to call Mary Louise Widmar at (620) 235-6092 or through email at block22@pittstate.edu.

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