About Innovation Plaza
The August 2014 spotlight article in the Heritage magazine talks about the land along I-45 and how it will serve the growing university:
Last year, the Texas Legislature authorized the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to transfer to the university approximately 78 acres of land in a parcel on Highway 75 North.
Plans are to build a criminal justice complex at the location, which has been named Innovation Plaza, with initial structures for the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, and a training facility for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
All the programs are currently housed on campus at the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center.
Once those programs have been relocated, the existing space will be remodeled and repurposed for academic use.
“We had been looking for property on which to locate an integrated, multi-purpose complex with a criminal justice focus,” said [SHSU Executive Vice President for Administration Al] Hooten. “As various options didn’t pan out, by happenstance, representatives from the H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum approached us and mentioned the TDCJ horse pasture next to their location. The veterans museum needed about five acres to accommodate the growth of their programs.
The university is also looking forward to hearing the results of a feasibility study that will determine if a hotel and conference center will be supported at the site. Those facilities would be open to the public, and SHSU officials hope that a hotel with a brand name will be interested.
Once the current programs have moved from the Criminal Justice Center to the new facilities, approximately 150,000 square feet will be available for the expansion of academic programs and related support for the College of Criminal Justice on campus. The University Hotel will be closed down and will be used for “surge space” as remodeling takes place.