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Education

South Dakota Mines receives record $5 million donation

A rendering of the future Nucor Mineral Industries building at South Dakota Mines
South Dakota Mines
A rendering of the future Nucor Mineral Industries building at South Dakota Mines

A record $5 million donation will help South Dakota Mines fund a new Mineral Industries Building to replace an aging facility with asbestos and a floor that collapsed under heavy equipment.

The donation came from Nucor Corporation, a North Carolina-based company that is the largest recycler and steel producer in the U.S.

“South Dakota Mines is great cultural fit for us. We share a common interest in helping the nation build infrastructure and build our cities," executive Dan Krug said during a celebration on Thursday.

The Nucor Mineral Industries Building will cost $34 million.

The building will have classrooms, offices and research space for the departments of geology and geological engineering, mining engineering and management, and materials and metallurgical engineering.

It "will have the electricity that you need, it will have the internet and the data science piece that we need to be moving forward for a more modern education," said Mines President Jim Rankin.

Rankin said the old mineral industries building, which was built in 1962 and contains asbestos, was outdated and too small.

"We didn't have enough electricity to plug all of our equipment in. We actually had one very heavy piece of equipment fall through the floor in the basement one day," he said.

The current Mineral Industries building will be demolished after the new one is built.
Arielle Zionts
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SDPB
The current Mineral Industries building will be demolished after the new one is built.

The Nucor Mineral Industries Building is funded with $3 million from South Dakota Mines and $19 million from the State of South Dakota. Lawmakers approved the state funding during the 2021 legislative session.

Mines needs to raise $3.5 million after receiving $8.5 million from Nucor and other donors. The Nucor gift will be made in cash and steel, which is high demand.

Mines hopes to break ground on the building this summer. Scull Construction, based in Rapid City, is building the facility.

The current mineral industries building will be demolished to make room for future projects.

Nucor doesn't have any facilities in South Dakota — the nearest one is in Nebraska — but it has a close relationship with Mines.

The company has provided 81 internships and hired 64 graduates while donating between $20,000-$40,000 per year. It funds the Nucor Endowed Professorship and has donated to a study area, the athletics program and athletic scholarships.

The Nucor Mineral Industries Building is just one of the current and future construction projects at Mines.

The library is being renovated with a new maker space, 3D printers, tutoring areas and a coffee shop. The building will house IT and career services.

Mines is also purchasing a privately owned building on campus and will turn it into research space.

Mines library
Construction at the new library at South Dakota Mines.
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Arielle Zionts
Construction at the new library at South Dakota Mines.