Western Dakota Tech, the City of Rapid City, and Pennington County held a grand opening ceremony for the newly built Dakota Hall and County/City Public Library East on Friday, Nov. 30, at WDT.
"This expansion prepares WDT for an exciting future full of opportunity," WDT President Mark Wilson said. "The project will fuel future growth so WDT can play an even bigger role in making Rapid City and western South Dakota better places to live and work."
Dakota Hall includes lab space, bookstore, one-stop shop, administrative offices, and the County/City Public Library East at WDT.
The library makes this expansion unique. The shared WDT-community library brings together WDT, Rapid City, and Pennington County to serve the library needs of a diverse group of patrons in a 21st Century library that blends the traditional library of community space and resources with mobile access in the digital world.
The new branch provides more convenient access to library services to residents of the Rapid Valley area. It also serves as a fully functioning academic library for WDT students. The general public has full access to the library, and library card holders will be able to take advantage of all library services.
"The Rapid City Public Library continues to anticipate patron needs," said Greta Chapman, Library director. "Given the pace and direction of growth in the city and Pennington County, this new location helps ensure that we are providing access to library services to all members of our community."
The $12.5 million, 60,000-square-foot Dakota Hall project also includes:
- New Campus Main Entrance: This new entrance will become a focal point for campus and will allow better campus access for the handicapped and others who need special assistance.
- One-Stop Services Center: This area, located just inside the new main entrance, will serve as a hub for most services needed by the community and by new and current students.
- New Lab Space: Students in Welding, Transportation Technology, and Electrical Trades will enjoy new lab space with updated equipment that matches what students will use in industry. These labs will help WDT better prepare our community's workforce.
- Lecture Hall: The lecture hall will serve WDT's academic needs and will be available for community events, making WDT an even more vital community asset.
"WDT's mission is to train the workforce," Wilson said. "This project will help us do that and a whole lot more."
WDT is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 20 programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction Trades, Health Services, Legal and Public Services, Manufacturing and Mechanical Trades, and Science and Technology. More than 94 percent of WDT's most recent graduates are either working or continuing their education, and more than 82 percent of those placed in careers are working in South Dakota.
WDT faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, WDT students graduate ready to make a real and immediate contributions to their employers and communities.
For information about WDT, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit WDT on the web at www.wdt.edu.
About the Rapid City Public Library
The Rapid City Public Library has served the Rapid City area since 1879, and now has two locations, the downtown library at 610 Quincy Street and the north library within General Beadle Elementary School at 10 Van Buren St. Both offer print and electronic resources for adults, young adults and children as well as computers and Internet access and a variety of programs and events. In March 2008, USA Today named the Rapid City Public Library's downtown library as one of the nation's 10 greatest places to "Find a Nook and Read a Book."