frequently asked questions


UTEC, founded in 1999 and based in Lowell, is 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 young people 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, our mission, and our work are sure to impress your guests.

2. what is your building's capacity?

With five unique rent-able spaces, we are equipped to handle anything from a 5-person meeting to a 350-guest event.

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 can help explain the process for acquiring this license. It is easy and affordable, and the potential revenue from drink sales make it a worthwhile step for nonprofit fundraisers and other events. 

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 less than 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, especially those events with menu preferences that we can easily accommodate. We do usually welcome outside caterers, and renters looking for plated meals 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?

Usually. UTEC treats political parties and government agencies like any other renter or catering customer. We do not accept rentals for campaign events.

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 must end by 1:00AM latest 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 smaller seminar tables. Our Events Manager can coordinate the rental of additional furnishings for you at a minimal coordination fee. We do have floor-length black and white 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 at 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.

Our unique and historic building is perfect for weddings, galas, concerts, meetings, seminars, cocktail parties, birthdays, performances, lectures, film releases, and so much more! We have some restrictions on rentals by young adults under 25. Please contact us for details. 

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.

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. 

UTEC offers a 25% rental discount to our fellow non-profit organizations. On prime weekend evenings, non-profit events must still meet our rental minimum.  

There is only air conditioning in our Cafe and in the Catalyst Center at 15 Warren. Our LEED Platinum Certified building includes a “Big Ass Fan” in our Main 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. Windows can also be opened. Past events in summer months have been fine, but please contact us if you have any concerns.

Facility rentals help to support UTEC's mission-driven work with young people, both through rental revenue and by providing diverse opportunities for program participants to be involved in planning and staffing. When you chose our catering, our young adults work with our professional chefs and receive extra hours for pay and further experience. With prior notice, program participants or staff can also give your guests a UTEC welcome (share about our mission, their story, the buildng, etc.) and lead tours. We also lead amazing energizers and team-building activities and have a talented group of breakdancers who are available for performances.

private events at utec