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School of Mines eyeing $20 million research facility

RAPID CITY (AP) -- The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has unveiled a plan for a $20 million research facility on the site of a former hotel in downtown Rapid City.

RAPID CITY (AP) - The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has unveiled a plan for a $20 million research facility on the site of a former hotel in downtown Rapid City.

The proposal is part of a $113 million package of projects that four state colleges have offered to expand research on South Dakota campuses. Mines President Heather Wilson shared the proposal with the state Board of Regents on Tuesday, saying the school faces a shortage of space for future growth.

"I think that we can do more, but we can't do more in the facilities that we're begging, borrowing and renting from other people," she said.

Wilson told the Rapid City Journal that there's no money yet for the proposed South Dakota Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, but that officials are drawing up a proposal for regents and state lawmakers.

The proposed institute could create hundreds of jobs for Mines students, help form more startup companies and lead to millions of dollars' worth of new research, according to Wilson.

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"I think it can have a transformative effect on South Dakota," she said.

If funding is approved, a program plan and designs could be drawn up between June and December 2017. Construction likely would begin in the spring of 2018 and could wrap up in fall 2019.

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