- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Two colleges on opposite sides of South Dakota are planning building projects.

In Rapid City, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is starting work on a $6 million upgrade to its chemistry building. In Yankton, officials recently launched a $750,000 fundraising campaign to create an alumni center for Yankton College on the third floor of an existing building.

The renovation of the School of Mines Chemical and Biological Engineering Building will include classroom and lab upgrades, new labs and a new glass facade. It’s being financed mainly through student tuition.

“Students love the feel of a new or renovated building,” applied biological sciences student Jin Kim told the Rapid City Journal. “It really allows students to really gain experience in a new lab setting.”

Yankton College hasn’t held classes for decades, but it still functions as a staffed and incorporated nonprofit with a board of trustees and a president.

An alumni and education center would be used to store memorabilia and provide space for reunions. The fundraising is being coordinated by the Yankton College Alumni and the Yankton County Historical Society, which already have raised more than $325,000, according to the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan.

“Our major goal is to take occupancy as soon as possible, to continue moving our treasures from where we are now, and then making the process of moving in just like moving into a new home,” said Joan Neubauer, president of the historical society and chairwoman of the Yankton College Alumni board of trustees.

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