BOX ELDER, SD – Two years of planning and hard work paid off Thursday when Box Elder cut the ribbon on its new recreation and fitness center, the Black Hills Energy Liberty Center. More than 100 people were on hand for the grand opening of the Liberty Center with an open house following the ribbon cutting.
The facility offers top-of-the-line exercise equipment within a spacious gymnasium. Management will be handled by the YMCA providing a babysitting service while parents use the facility.
While the Liberty Center is open to one and all, it was designed to help fill a need for Air Force personnel whose former training building will become a hangar with the impending arrival of the B-21 stealth bomber.
Executive Director of the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority Scott Landguth says, “The Air Force came to the authority with a need and that was to get rid of their current range, their current facility where they do all their physical training. It’s going to to be a hangar again. So our mission was to make sure we were a great place for the Air Force. And we came up with a plan and and this is the result.”
The Liberty Center was made possible by a $6.5 million grant from the Department of Defense and another $3.2 million from the state. Developer Dream Design International and Pennington County also supported the project through tax increment financing (TIF) bonds.
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Q&A with South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority Executive Director Scott Landguth:
- How does it feel to open the new Black Hills Energy Liberty Center?
- How was the process of getting the Liberty Center built?
- What does the new Black Hills Energy Liberty have to offer?
- How does the Liberty Center fit into the mission of the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority?