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OUR VIEW: Corrigan Center looms large for DWU, Mitchell

The immense outline of the new Glenda K. Corrigan Health Sciences Center reminds us of the great foresight, followed by great efforts, it took to get the building constructed on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University.

The new science center is officially open, as declared during dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremonies Thursday at the campus.

And as the hot sun beamed down, the large, four-story building cast its great shadow over the crowd, enveloping all in a beautiful oasis on the campus' southeast side. How fitting, we thought: The $11.5 million building already is influencing the environment and education -- and campus life in general -- at Dakota Wesleyan.

It wasn't quite two years ago that the project was announced to the public. In September 2011, aided by large gifts from a handful of donors, the university broke ground on the 48,000-square-foot building, which now houses chemistry, biology and physics rooms, along with nursing labs and classrooms for nursing, athletic training, sciences and mathematics.

In the months that followed, the grand building rose from the campus, as did the excitement surrounding it.

Then-President Bob Duffett said at the time that the groundbreaking would mark a moment that will be recalled "long after we are gone."

Two years later, it's not at all difficult to recall that day, and likewise, it's hard not to acknowledge the incredible achievement this building represents.

Over the years, influential leaders will emerge from its classrooms. Sympathetic healers will learn their trade there. Great advancements may be discovered in its laboratories.

And Mitchell, along with the region that surrounds it, will benefit.

Thursday, new Dakota Wesleyan University President Amy Novak told the crowd that Wesleyan is "playing a pivotal role in preparing the workforce for our region."

As we looked up at the building, we couldn't agree more.

Congratulations to Dakota Wesleyan, which continues to amaze us with its forward-thinking projects and continual campus improvements. Turning dreams into reality takes real work, great drive and even better friends. Wesleyan has all, and for that, the university should be publicly and heartily commended. The generosity of Fritz and Gleda Corrigan, Paul and Donna Christen, and Ron and the late Arlene Gates -- all of whom made significant monetary gifts to the project -- must be noted as well, as should the gifts of many other donors.

In his dedication sermon Thursday, Bishop Bruce Ough said that in this historic moment, "we celebrate the triumph of God's unlimited imagination. ... God unleashed his unlimited imagination on this place, and that's what we're celebrating."

Amen to that. And what a marvelous, brick-and-mortar accomplishment to celebrate.