Ellsworth AFB fitness center gets $3.2 M from South Dakota legislators

Public recreation center planned near Ellsworth Air Force Base.
Public recreation center planned near Ellsworth Air Force Base.
Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 1:59 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Ellsworth Air Force Base will get $3,200,000 to build the Liberty Center Wellness Facility after a bill was approved by South Dakota lawmakers.

House Bill 1166 fully funds all construction phases of the new fitness center in Box Elder as Ellsworth Air Force Base prepares for new B-21B bombers that will be stationed there. Gov. Kristi Noem called for state funding during her December budget speech.

On Tuesday. Senators passed HB1166 with a 35-0 vote. The House approved the funding 61-6 on Tuesday.

The money will go to the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority to help pay for the project. The authority has been awarded a $6.3 million grant from the federal Office of Economic Adjustment.

Most of the rest of the rec project would be funded by the state’s $3.2 million grant and $2 million through a tax-increment financing district.

While the airbase and South Dakota National Guard would help pay for the center’s operations based on their use, the center would be open to anyone who buys memberships.

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