South Dakota School of Mines proposes $20 million research facility

South Dakota School of Mines proposes $20 million research facility

The South Dakota Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing would be built in downtown Rapid City.

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has unveiled a plan to build a $20 million research facility in downtown Rapid City on land that was home to a hotel.

The Rapid City Journal reports that School President Heather Wilson presented the proposal to the Board of Regents during its meeting on Tuesday. It is part of a $113 million package of projects that four state colleges have offered in an effort to increase the research being done on South Dakota campuses.

The facility — dubbed the South Dakota Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing — would be built on the site of the former Imperial Hotel. Before the project can proceed, it needs to receive funding from the Board of Regents and the state legislature.

Wilson says property owner Ray Hillenbrand donated the hotel site to the School of Mines under the condition that it be used for research. The property covers half a city block and would provide plenty of space for the proposed 42,000-square-foot research facility.

Wilson expects the institute would create 200 high-paying jobs in the industry by 2025, and add an estimated $15 million in materials-related research being conducted at the school.

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