Black Hills State University is one step closer to its Alumni Foundation Welcome Center after breaking ground last month on the $1.4 million project. 

Black Hills State University recently broke ground on its Alumni Welcome Center. Participating in the groundbreaking are, left to right, Chris Anderson, President Yellow Jacket Foundation; Spearfish Mayor Jerry Krambeck; Harvey Krautschun, Capital Campaign Co-Chairman; BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp; Roger Tellinghuisen, President BHSU Foundation; Daryl Johnson, Chair Fundraising Committee for the Alumni/Foundation Welcome Center; Bill Collins, President Black Hills State University Alumni Association;and Steve Meeker, BHSU Vice President of University Advancement.

Plans for the 5,800-square-foot building have been on the minds of University officials for nearly a decade, according to Steve Meeker, BHSU vice president of university advancement.  “The Alumni Welcome Center was an idea created eight years ago. We’ve been serious about it for five years and now it’s becoming a reality.”

The University wanted to provide a place for alumni, community members and friends of BHSU, Meeker said.

The new Welcome Center will be a wonderful addition to BHSU and the community, he said.  “It will be a home for alumni when they return to campus, a welcome center for prospective students and a facility that can and will be used by the community for special events.”

Meeker said construction will begin next spring with a goal to be in the facility by fall 2014.

When completed, the facility will house the University Advancement offices; provide a gathering area before games, concerts, and other University events; showcase the past, present and future of BHSU; provide space for prospective students and their parents; accommodate community events such as business meetings and receptions; and introduce community members to what the University is doing.

“We appreciate the support from alumni and friends who are making this facility possible,” Meeker said. More than $500,000 in cash donations has been raised along with many in-kind donations. Contributions can be made in many ways including by purchasing an engraved pathway brick that will be displayed on the patio of the building.  To contribute to the project contact Steve Meeker at 605-642-6385 or send an email at steve.meeker@bhsu.edu