SDSU raises $18 million for indoor facility


South Dakota State University today announced leadership investments totaling $18 million for the university’s planned Indoor Practice and Human Performance Athletic Facility. Sanford Health has agreed in principle to provide $10 million, while another $8 million has been committed by anonymous donors.

The overall project is estimated to cost $24 million to $28 million. Construction of the facility is planned to begin in the spring of 2013, subject to successfully raising the additional funds and final approval through the South Dakota Board of Regents’ capital project process. The university received approval from the regents for preliminary planning of the facility in June 2011.

The Sanford Health partnership provides the foundation for a facility that will serve more than 450 student-athletes and will be constructed north of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, adjacent to the Dykhouse Student-Athlete Center. The facility will provide indoor practice space for intercollegiate athletic teams, state-of-the-art areas for sports medicine, and strength and conditioning facilities.

The partnership establishes a framework for broader collaboration in mutual areas of interest such as exercise science, nutrition and human performance, injury prevention and evidence-based injury treatment and rehabilitation, according to university President David Chicoine.

“The partnership enables a deeper collaboration between our university and Sanford Health,” Chicoine said. “There is significant potential with this partnership to enrich our university and to impact many disciplines. This first-class facility will support our student-athletes with practice space, training areas and health-care services, allowing them to pursue their dreams and excel in the classroom and in athletic competition.”

As part of the partnership, Sanford Health will become the exclusive provider of sports medicine services for Jackrabbit Athletics for the next 10 years, offering board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and primary care physicians, and experts with the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance at Sanford Health.

According to Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health, Sanford Health has a strong history of working with athletic programs from high school to professional levels. Partnering with universities like SDSU yields major returns on the health system’s investments in students.

“We are proud to align with SDSU, and the investment we have made toward the construction of this new facility is the first step in our long-term commitment to the championship excellence the university has put into motion,” Krabbenhoft said. “Sanford Health provides a blanket of support to dozens of schools and thousands of student-athletes like none other in the nation. The ability to provide customized service and coverage to SDSU and all our partner schools will yield incredible collective insights and support from the combined knowledge and resources we bring to bear. This is the result of region-wide potential of the nutrition, safety, physical performance and research gained from this well organized effort in sports medicine. That means better care for the student-athlete, and incredible resources during the season and also in the off-season.”

The planned facility would include an eight-lane, 300-meter track and 100 yards of synthetic turf, along with space for sports medicine, athletic training, strength and conditioning, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, observation rooms and office facilities.

According to Director of Athletics Justin Sell, the facility supports the athletic department’s mission to develop lifelong champions and will have a positive impact on the university for decades to come.

“The Indoor Practice and Human Performance Facility will have the greatest impact on our student- athletes. It is a game-changing opportunity to build a facility that will benefit the university for the next 50 years,” Sell said. “The demands put on student-athletes today create the need for high-quality practice and support facilities that allow our student-athletes the opportunity to compete and excel at the highest levels. There is a tremendous need for this facility and we are pleased to be partnering with a leading health care provider like Sanford Health.”