KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Webb School of Knoxville just opened up a new center for innovation and named it after former Governor Bill Haslam.

Haslam graduated from Webb 46 years ago and he credits the educators there for making him a leader. The 4,500-square-foot Governor’s Center for Innovation houses classrooms, study areas, maker spaces, a STEM testing lab and a full broadcasting studio. It will be used to give students the resources they need to think outside of the box.

“We have real problems to solve and let’s see if we can be about solving them whether it be a scientific issue or a social issue and I love it that this is focused on innovation which is at the heart of solving problems,” said Haslam.

The Governor’s Center will be available for use by Webb students in 6th through 12th grade and by other community schools and student organizations. Those who visit the center will see colorful 3D-printed prototypes, be able to brainstorm in neon-green lounge chairs, and possibly even check out a test robot climbing a human-sized obstacle course.

The new facility is also supported by an academic program focusing on global experiences and entrepreneurship.

“The center provides the hub for completely reimagined classroom experiences,” said John Tolsma, chair of the school’s Reimagining Extraordinary Campaign, which led to the funding of the center. “For example, our entrepreneurship curriculum is rooted in the use of Harvard Business School case studies complemented by the voices of local and national entrepreneurial leaders. We don’t know of any other K-12 institution using that unique combination. Entrepreneurial methods are at the core of Webb’s innovation strategy, and we know that access at a younger age is a key to success in today’s world.”