Plans to build $12.6M rec center near Ellsworth move forward

The facility will be open to the public
The rec center will come to Box Elder, S.D. in May 2022
The rec center will come to Box Elder, S.D. in May 2022(Anderley Penwell)
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 5:40 PM MDT
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BOX ELDER, S.D. (KEVN) - As the B-21 Expansion at Ellsworth Air Force Base presents the potential to brings thousands of new people to the area, facilities near the base are also popping up.

A recreation center will be constructed near the base for the airmen to do their physical training. Currently, the airmen train in an unused hanger, but this new rec center will allow the hanger to go back to its original function.

The rec center will be built on Liberty Boulevard in Box Elder, close to the South Dakota Air and Space Museum. Not only airmen will be using the facility--- it is open to the public.

“There’s some cost-sharing opportunities that the different activities in the community can support, besides the Air Force,” said Scott Landguth, the executive director of the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority. “In the past, historically, when the Air Force or any military agency constructed a facility on the base, it was only able to be utilized by the military and the community didn’t always see the benefits of that. Having a joint use, you get the benefits to the community and to the military.”

Landguth said South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority has secured a $6.3 million grant, that covers half of the expected cost. The entire facility will cost $12.6 million.

The project is currently in the design portion, but Landguth hopes to have a contractor chosen by the end of October, and construction will tentatively begin year next year, and will hopefully be complete by May 2022.

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