Plans for upgrades to the School of Mines campus

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Out with the old and in with the new, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology had not updated their campus master plan since 2011, and the university president has some modern changes in mind.

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology sign.

"We really want to be part of the community, and so what can we do to let the community know what's going on here on campus, and the campus is all about the students and the family, we want to make sure we have modern facilities so the students can get the best education possible," said Jim Rankin, president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

A top priority in the latest plan is a new mineral industries building to replace the one built in the 1960s.

"They did not design it for the power that we need, it's got asbestos in it, the hallways are narrow, it's just time for a new building, and mining and the mineral industries nowadays are using autonomous operations, it's high tech, to be able to train students for today's world, we need a more modern building," Rankin said.

From the library, to the stadium, to adding signs and safety measures, the plan aims to further connect with downtown by growing west.

"The master plan has got some things that could impact the city, and we want to make sure we're working together with them, Saint Joseph Street comes right past campus, well the cars move pretty fast on Saint Joe, and we really would like that to become more pedestrian friendly," Rankin said.

Most of the funding for this 10 year plan will come from donations, and Rankin said he hopes to gain support through the city's Vision Fund on some key projects.