Story and Photos by Jan Osborn.
UNT Dallas celebrated the opening of 4315 Innovation Center in South Dallas. The UNT Dallas expansion to the Innovation Center will bring the university’s educational resources to this underserved local community. Former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith purchased the property on South Lancaster Road in 2019 and redeveloped the property, which had been empty for years. 4315 Lancaster Innovation Center is a mixed-use facility that provides commercial office/workforce training and retail space delivered by community-focused organizations in a curated plan to foster an ecosystem that trains for and then creates a direct pipeline for jobs creation.
The opening celebration was attended by local business partners, elected officials, and the former Hall of Fame running back himself, as well as UNT Dallas officials. Speakers included UNT Dallas President Bob Mong, Texas State Senator Royce West, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Dallas Councilmember Carolyn Arnold, Urban Land Institute’s Executive Director Tamela Thornton, UNT Dallas Executive Director TRIO & Pre-collegiate Programs, Nakia Douglas, and Emmitt Smith.
Programs that UNT Dallas will offer at the Innovation Center include the university’s Community Youth Development Program, designed to build the pathways to economic opportunity for its student participants, and law enforcement professional development workshops offered through the Caruth Police Institute at UNT Dallas. This unique combination of programming holds the promise of creating a variety of opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural understanding.
For more information about the Innovation Center, visit untdallas.edu.