Fundraiser aspires to replace School of Mines M-Hill “M” and build a new trail up to it

Graduates are featured on the plaques.
Graduates are featured on the plaques.(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 5:35 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - It’s hard to miss the giant, white “M” on the side of one of the hills in Rapid City as you’re passing through. The School of Mines put it up a while back, and the school says it’s about time to both replace the “M,” and build a more accessible trail to it.

There are plaques on the “M” with graduates names... and Officials with School of Mines say they’re going to take them off and restore them to be placed on the new “M.”

They say the current “M” has deteriorated to the point that it can no longer be fixed, and the replacement will have better LED lighting.

The current trail is being renovated and officials say they’re working with the Rapid City Parks Department on the installation of a brand new trail that will feature switchbacks, making it easier for hikers and bikers to ascend. At the top, they’ll also build a rock garden.

Paul Krueger, SDMS’s CEO of the Center for Alumni and Advancement, says, ”I think the “M” is just a staple part of South Dakota Mines. When you come to Rapid and you see it on the hill, there’s a sense of pride. There’s a sense of tradition, and a sense of loyalty to the school and to Rapid City. So, we’re really proud of it we hope that the community is as well.”

Krueger says the “M” restoration and replacement project will cost roughly 125-thousand dollars and the trail an additional 30-thousand.

He says so far, they’ve collected more than 55-thousand.

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