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New Sanford Lab Visitor Center Opens In Lead

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Chynna Lockett
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The Sanford Lab opened a new visitor center in Lead South Dakota Tuesday. More than 750 people showed up for a building dedication ceremony featuring guest speakers and a ribbon cutting.

As the building dedication began, guests gathered on the observation deck of the new Sanford Visitor Center, directly overlooking the open-cut. The Center features exhibits that tell the history of the Homestake goldmine. Governor Dennis Daugaard was the featured speaker. He says the new Visitor Center doesn’t just showcase the past.

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Credit Chynna Lockett
Casey Peterson, chairman of South Dakota Science and Technology Authority, speaks at the building dedication ceremony for the Sanford Lab Visitor.

“It also is a place where people can learn about the new future of the Sanford Underground Lab. And the Majorana experiment and the Lux experiment and the

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Credit Chynna Lockett
The South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard speaks about the new Sanford Lab Visitor Center during the building dedication ceremony.

big behemoth experiment that's yet to come, the long base line bassline neutrino facility that will detect beams from Fermilab 800 miles away in Illinois. That is yet to come and it will be the biggest of all,” says Daugaard.

He adds that the he hopes the building will inspire youth to get involved in science.

Casey Peterson is the chairman of South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. He says the visitor center will help reach out to the community.

“Part of the mission of the South Dakota Science and Technology authority is education and outreach. To date, we have touched 10,000 K-12 students, 220 teachers and 16,000 of the general public. With this beautiful facility, these numbers will explode,” says Peterson.

Lab officials say there is no admission fee to enter the new visitor center. The facility is set to be the home of a number of activities including the lab’s Neutrino Day celebration on July 11th.