Innovation Campus first groundbreaking


Jenna Mann And Brittany Westerberg

Ground will be broken for the Innovation Center, the first building on SDSU’s Innovation Campus, at 1 p.m. on Nov. 15 at the 22nd Avenue North site.

The 28,000 square foot, two-story building will be located in the southwest part of the 125-acre campus, which will be located next to SDSU’s main campus. The Innovation Center will house Innovation Campus’s administrative offices as well as start-up businesses and entrepreneurs and well-established companies. Construction on the Center is expected to be done near the end of October 2008.

“We’re excited to break ground for the Center, which will become the first visible manifestation of this innovative partnership that will benefit not only the Brookings and SDSU communities, but also the entire state,” said Teresa McKnight, Innovation Campus director.

The groundbreaking will include a brief program with comments from various partners and will conclude with a short social time.

“The Innovation Campus is a vital component of our economic development strategy for the Brookings region,” Al Heuton, the Brookings Economic Development Corporation executive director, said, “and the BEDC is excited by the results and future prospects of this important partnership.”

McKnight said Innovation Campus will provide students with opportunities for employment, including internships, assistantships and part-time employment. At the Utah State University Innovation Campus, where McKnight was director, 48 companies employed 980 students. SDSU graduates will have an opportunity to stay in Brookings as full-time employees for companies that reside in Innovation Campus. McKnight said that Innovation Campus might also draw alumni who want to return to South Dakota.

“I think the Innovation Campus has the potential to do great things for all students at SDSU,” Students’ Association President Alex Brown said. “It will be a draw for students (undergraduate and graduate) looking for some of the best research opportunities in the region ? and help with the overall image of SDSU.”

The Innovation Campus will also help foster partnerships between the university, business, government and the community and promote research, discovery and technological advancements.

“Brookings will be benefited with new business and people,” Brown said, “and the state of South Dakota, the Midwest and more could potentially benefit from the research that will be conducted.”

The Innovation Center will house two conference rooms, offices ranging in size from 168 to 3,500 square feet, three labs ranging in size from 800 to 2,000 square feet, a large rotunda with a reception area-to be used for tenants’ business meetings as well as university and community events-and a large shipping and receiving area.