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May 18, 2017 10:12 PM

Breaking Ground On Ground-Breaking Research Park

City and State leaders broke ground Thursday on a project that could create thousands of jobs in Sioux Falls.

The USD Discovery District is in the northwest part of the city.

It was a gloomy day at the construction site, but the future is bright for the USD Discovery District.

"We think of names like Thomas Edison or Ben Franklin," South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard said.

The 80-acre development is called South Dakota's first urban innovation community. What does that mean? State officials hope that research and advanced manufacturing businesses will call this area home and spur not only new ideas and products, but also economic growth.

"Too many of you drive to Omaha, Chicago, Minneapolis or Denver to see your kids. Many of them want to stay in South Dakota but are unable to find the jobs they desire. To that I say, 'No more,'" Sioux Falls City Council Member Christine Erickson said.

When it's complete, the $314 million park is set to include 26 buildings and employ around 2,800 people. Anchors for the park include the University Center, the Graduate Education and Applied Research Center and USD's Biomedical Engineering Program. Governor Daugaard says they're seeing a lot of additional interest.

"I do think we're going to be back here very soon, maybe this year, with one or maybe two more groundbreakings. It's that close," Daugaard said.

Breaking ground that will hopefully lead to groundbreaking research.

"Buckle up. Get ready. We're going to do some serious discovering here," Daugaard said.

The first building, a multi-tenant research facility, is scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2018.

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