frequently asked questions

private events at utec

1. WHAT IS UTEC?

UTEC, founded in 1999 and based in Lowell, was the result of an organizing movement driven by young people to develop their own teen center in response to gang violence. UTEC's mission and promise is to ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disconnected youth to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success. After an ambitious renovation, finished in 2012, UTEC is now the oldest LEED Platinum Certified building in the world. With a mix of original architecture and modern amenities, our event spaces (Main Function Hall, Board Room, Dance Studio/Large Conference Room, Cafe) are sure to impress your guests.

2. what is your building's capacity?

With four unique rentable spaces, we are equipped to handle anything from a 5-person meeting to a 350-guest performance.

3. can i serve alcohol?

Yes. UTEC requires that you use a licensed and insured bartender. For private events, no temporary liquor license is required by the City. For public events, the City of Lowell does require that you purchase a one-day license. We don't have any restrictions on where the alcohol is purchased.

4. do you have a parking lot?

UTEC is in the heart of downtown and we do not have a parking lot. We have convenient loading/unloading spots for vendors, and can reserve spots for up to two cars. There is a large city parking garage with very affordable rates one block away. There is also nearby street parking, which is free evenings Monday - Saturday, and all day Sunday. 

5. do you have in-house catering?

We do! Visit the Food section of this website for more information.

6. can i bring in my own caterer?

UTEC has first right of refusal on some events, especially brunch events with pastries, coffee, and fruit, cocktail party style receptions with hors d'ouevres only, and more casual events with sandwich platters and sides. We can usually accommodate outside caterers, and renters looking for plated meals, passed hors d'ouevres, or ethnic foods not on our menu are always welcome to use an outside caterer. If your caterer is fully licensed, they are welcome to use our full catering kitchen, as well.

7. does utec rent to political parties and government agencies?

Yes, UTEC treats political parties and government agencies like any other renter or catering customer. 

8. is my rental payment tax-deductible?

Sorry, it is not. While Facility Rental revenue helps support UTEC's programs and mission, and also helps to provide employment for youth, renters do receive services in exchange for this payment. For this reason, it is not tax-deductible. Should you choose to make an additional donation, it would of course be considered tax-deductible and you would receive appropriate acknowledgement.

9. when does music have to end?

Music and bar service must end by 12:00 midnight. 

10. does utec have tables and chairs? linens?

UTEC does have enough round banquet tables and black banquet chairs to seat over 300 people. We also have both 6-foot and 8-foot buffet tables, and twenty 18" x 4 feet seminar tables. Our Events Manager can manage the rental of additional furnishings for you at a minimal coordination fee. We do have floor-length black table linens for the banquet rounds that can be rented for a nominal fee. We do not have linens in other colors.

11. will i need an event coordinator?

UTEC's Events Manager is available to help with limited coordination, including vendor recommendations and on-site appointments, logistical help, and consultation on layout and general event timing. A professional coordinator is recommended for events with over 200 guests. 

12. can i decorate the venue?

Yes! All of our spaces look beautiful as is, but are also neutral enough to accommodate your own colors and decor. We do not allow installations that cause damage to the walls, ceiling, or floors. No duct tape, nails, or staples please!

13. What's the next step?

Please contact our Events Manager, Joelle Geisler, at jgeisler@utec-lowell.org or 978-856-3976 to schedule a tour of the facility. At the time of booking, we require a deposit equal to 25% of the rental or package fee.

​14. WHAT TYPE OF SPECIAL EVENTS ARE SUITED TO UTEC?
Our unique and historic building is perfect for weddings, galas, concerts, meetings, seminars, cocktail parties, birthdays, performances, lectures, film releases, and so much more!
15. IS UTEC HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE?
Yes, we have ramp access to our business and Cafe entrances and an elevator to the 2nd and 3rd floors. There is a handicap
accessible restroom on each floor.
16. HOW MANY RESTROOMS DO YOU HAVE?
There are 6 restrooms in available for event use-- two restrooms in the Cafe (one of which has a baby changing station), two restrooms on the second floor and two restrooms on the third floor. 
​17. DO YOU HAVE SPECIAL RATES FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS?
UTEC budgets a limited number of discounted rentals (25% off) for non-profit organizations annually. If interested, please send a written request along with proof of  501c3 status. 
18. DOES UTEC HAVE AIR CONDITIONING?
There is only air conditioning in our Cafe. Our LEED Platinum Certified building includes a “Big Ass Fan” in our Main Function Hall and a passive cooling system, which uses mechanical vents through the old church steeple to push out warm air and push down cool air. Past events in summer months have been fine, but please contact us if you have any concerns.
19. HOW CAN I INVOLVE UTEC YOUTH IN MY EVENT?
Facility rentals help to support UTEC's mission-driven work with young people, both through rental revenue and by providing diverse opportunities for youth to be involved in planning and staffing. When you chose our catering, our youth work with our professional chefs and receive extra hours for pay and further experience. With prior notice, youth can also give your guests a UTEC welcome (share about our mission, their story) and lead tours. We also have a talented group of breakdancers who are available for performances.