private events at utec

frequently asked questions

​​​​​​​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 young adults 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 (the former church was built in 1839!) in the world. With a mix of original architecture and modern amenities, our event spaces 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 private ceremony to a 300-person reception.


3. can i serve alcohol?

Yes. UTEC requires that you use a licensed and insured bartender. For private events with an open bar, no temporary permit is required. For public/ticketed events or those with a cash bar, a one-day permit from the City of Lowell is required. We can advise on the steps necessary; it's easy and potential revenue from drink sales make the effort and fee well worth it for fundraisers, etc.


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 would love to cater your wedding, and we also acknowledge our limits. While we'd appreciate the opportunity to create a menu and proposal, we do welcome outside caterers if your needs or budget can't be met in-house.


7. can i have my bridal or engagement shoot at utec? 

Yes! Time for bridal and/or engagement photos is included in all wedding packages. If you're not getting married at UTEC but want to take photos in our building, we'd be happy to schedule time to do so - just let us know!


8. will i be able to have my rehearsal there?

Yes! The rental package does include an hour for your rehearsal. This should be limited to bridal party and immediate family, please! You can coordinate the best time with our Events Manager.


9. 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 our program participants, 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.


10. when does music have to end?

Music must end by 1AM at the latest, and bar service by midnight. 


11. 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 a number of smaller tables. Our Events Manager can manage the rental of additional furnishings for you at a minimal coordination fee. We do have floor-length black or white table linens and napkins, as well as white chair covers. These are included in the inclusive wedding packages. We do not have linens in other colors but can recommend rental/purchasing options.


12. will i need a wedding coordinator?

UTEC's Events Managers are available to help with limited coordination, including vendor recommendations and on-site appointments, logistical help, and consultation on layout and general event timing. Our Events Managers also have other responsibilities and at times manage multiple events per week, and therefore unfortunately do not have the time to be 100% available for each event's planning process. A professional wedding coordinator is recommended for weddings requiring vendor negotiations, detailed timelines, and day-of decorating help (beyond table/chair set-up, which we manage). A coordinator is always recommended for events with over 200 guests. 


13. can i decorate the venue?

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


14. What's the next step?

Please contact our Events Manager, Joelle Geisler, at events@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.


15. 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!


16. 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.


17. 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.


18. IS THERE SPACE FOR ME TO GET READY?

UTEC has a board room (on the 3rd floor, while activity would be on the 1st and 2nd floor) which can be used as a dressing room.


19. DOES UTEC HAVE AIR CONDITIONING?
There is only air conditioning in our Cafe (and in our new event and meeting space - the Hub at 15 Warren). 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 comfortable, but please contact us if you have any concerns.


20. HOW CAN I INVOLVE UTEC YOUNG ADULTS 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 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, they 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.