MadLabs is a ‘go’ with governor’s signature
Attendees at Madison/DSU Hosts the Legislature Day on January 30 got to see government in action, as they watched Governor Dennis Daugaard sign House Bill 1057. This legislation allows for the demolition of DSU’s Lowry Hall and construction of the Madison Cyber Labs, or MadLabs.
This 40,000 sq. ft. facility will build on DSU’s expanding technology capabilities and strengths by creating a hub of cybersecurity and cyber operations expertise for research application and economic development in South Dakota.
“What an impressive and historical event for everybody in attendance today to witness,” said Eric Hortness, executive director of the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. “This will no doubt create a large impact on the growth of DSU and the Madison community as a whole.”
There is currently no such facility in the region, so MadLabs will be a powerful catalyst for research-driven economic development, generating a well-educated workforce, well-paying professional jobs, and new businesses in the top growth sector of the 21st century, that of cyber.
“The research resulting from the MadLabs will become an economic development engine for South Dakota,” said José-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State University. “The facility will add many jobs in the research areas, along with support jobs in the region, and additional jobs with new business partners created as a result of the research. We also hope to draw DSU alumni back to the state,” she stated.
Hortness agreed. “The MadLabs building will have a direct economic impact in all aspects. DSU enrollment numbers, the population of Madison, the creation of jobs, and the region’s economy will all see a boost because of this new construction.”
For the students, faculty, and Madison community members in attendance for the bill signing, it was a memorable event.
“Every time those in attendance see the MadLabs building, they will remember that they witnessed the signing of the bill that put everything into motion,” Hortness said.
Funding for the construction of the MadLabs comes from private sources, DSU alumnus Miles Beacom and his wife Lisa, and philanthropist Denny Sanford, and a grant from the SD Future Fund authorized by Governor Daugaard. The bill passed unanimously in both houses of the legislature the week prior to signing.