Black Hills State University will hold a groundbreaking for the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union addition Monday, April 28 at 3 p.m.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the north entrance of the Student Union. (In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Student Union.)

The groundbreaking will be a festive event with music provided by the BHSU Jazz Band and the BH Gold Singers. Current student leaders and former student leaders who were instrumental in spearheading the Student Union expansion project will take part in the ceremony. Dignitaries, including BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp, a representative from the South Dakota Board of Regents, and Jerry Krambeck, Spearfish mayor, will also speak.

The area north of the existing Student Union will be marked to indicate the layout of the addition. Student leaders will be available throughout the Student Union and in the addition area to highlight future plans for each area. Virtual tours of the new addition will also be available.

The expansion project, which will more than double the space of the Student Union, includes a new dining services area, a counseling center, health services, an expanded bookstore, and increased student programming space. Construction and remodeling will begin this summer.

BHSU, which has made a commitment to sustainability, has designed the building to include components that will make it a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certified building. Some of these components include a garden roof, a vertical wind turbine, solar panels, and other energy efficiencies. The BHSU Student Union is expected to become a model for the demonstration of energy efficiencies and an educational tool for BHSU students and others in the community.

The Student Union expansion project is one of several construction projects going on at BHSU. This summer, the University is undergoing a renovation in Woodburn Hall which includes installation of a new elevator. The University will do renovation projects in several of the residence halls and the apartment complex beginning this summer. The roof on Jonas Academic Hall is currently being replaced.

The next major construction project is a new 20,000-square foot science building that is in the planning stages. This building will provide much needed space for science labs and research facilities to meet the dramatically growing number of students pursuing science degrees. Construction of the new science building, which is estimated to cost $8 million, could begin as early as next spring.