New center aims to start, grow, and expand technology in Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Connecting downtown Rapid City with the South Dakota School of Mines, the new two-story building will be located on the 100 block of East Main Street and house about 15 technology companies.

Ascent Innovation broke ground on their second location Oct. 9.

Entrepreneurs will be able to use the center to house start-up companies and new-to-the-area technologies, expanding on the progress the School of Mines is already making.

And with a third of the existing companies already working with Ascent in the first center contracted with the U.S. Department of Defense, Ellsworth Air Force Base's upcoming addition of the B-21 Bomber brings new opportunities for technological advancement.

"There is so much that's happening in the Black Hills, we've got the underground mine up in Lead, we have the B-21 coming at Ellsworth, we've got the School of Mines, Western Dakota Tech, Black Hills State, everything's coming together to where we do have the proper workforce, the technology that's here, obviously graduates want to stay in the area, this is going to be one more piece that can help them to do that, to stay and work on the technology that we know we have the capability right here in Rapid City," said Terri Haverly, executive director of Ascent Innovation.

Haverly said she is excited for the wide range of job opportunities this center will create for local graduates.

Construction will continue throughout the year with the completion projected for the winter of 2020.