San Marcos-Hays County Justice Center proceeds with second phase of expansion

News Reporter

The San Marcos-Hays County Family Justice Center is in the planning process of making governmental and nonprofit services more convenient for victims of violence.

Plans for expanding the building have been underway since 2000 in an effort to reduce the time and travel between multiple offices and expand support services to citizens, said Roya Williamson, victim service coordinator for the San Marcos Police Department. A $25,000 donation from Walton Development and Management will allow the justice center to proceed with the expansion.

The 29-acre Village Main Campus houses the Family Justice Center, which is comprised of a number of Hays County social service and domestic violence organizations. The building, located off Hunter Road and South Reimer Avenue, has had long-term plans to include early childhood intervention services and Women, Infants and Children facilities as a part of its second phase of expansion.

“At this time a victim of domestic violence needs to go to different locations and sometimes things like transportation can cost the victim more,” Williamson said.

Williamson said expanding the Family Justice Center would bring all entities under one roof so victims can “just walk through one door.”

“It’s a wrap-around service and will make the process more smooth,” Williamson said.

Penny Dunn, police commander for the San Marcos Police Department, said a third and final phase of construction will add an area distribution center and warehouse for the Hays County Food bank. Dunn, a member of the board of directors for the Family Justice Center, said funding for the final project will be sought upon completion of the second phase.

“This is our capital campaign kickoff and we are now shovel-ready and now need money to build,” Dunn said.

Dunn said she was connected with Walton Development and Management as a part of the Family Justice Center’s capital campaign. The company has seven different offices that manage, build and fund smaller community projects.

“Someone in the community connected me with someone in the Texas division, Alexa Knight,” Dunn said. “(She) explained that Walton likes to be a part of communities and thought we could make a good partnership.”

City officials have showed support for this project.

“Any sponsorship is great especially for a good cause like this since it puts many services in one place,” said Councilman Shane Scott, Place 6.