BOX ELDER, S.D. — A groundbreaking ceremony for the Liberty Center was held at Box Elder City Hall Friday.
Funds for the $12.5 million project came from federal and state resources and the City of Box Elder.
The ceremony commemorated the beginning of construction of the 60,000 square foot recreation center, which is not just for airmen at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
“It will also be a transformative building for the City of Box Elder and first class – a place where people are going to want to come for events and where the airmen will be able to complete their required training,” said Scott Landguth, the Executive of the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority.
Senator John Thune, who was in office when the base was nearly shutdown in 2005, saying that the best things come after years of pushing.
“It doesn’t happen by chance, it doesn’t happen by circumstance, it happens because of the commitment, the dedication, the determination and the investment and the partnerships that are so much apart of what make South Dakota a great place to live and to work, and to raise our families,” Thune said.
Representative Dusty Johnson praised the project and the community that supports the base.
“This will be a real asset, this will be a real blessing, and this is real evidence of the fact that this community loves this base,” Johnson said.
The project will bring a new training facility for the airmen and help prepare the base for more personnel coming with the addition of the B-21 Raider.
“Our Air Force Chief of Staff, General Brown, unveiled a new air force mission statement, which is ‘fly, fight, and win, air power, anytime, anywhere.’ This facility will ensure that our airmen in the 28th Bomb Wing are physically fit and prepared to deliver on that mission statement,” said Colonel Dan Hoadley, the Vice Commander of the 28th Bomb Wing.
Construction is set to begin in 45 to 60 days.
A groundbreaking of much more to come for the Box Elder community.