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Naming Rights Revealed at Lake Area Technical College’s Groundbreaking Ceremony

Posted on: July 12, 2022   |   Category: News

WATERTOWN — A new building on the campus of Lake Area Technical College in Watertown will honor one of the state’s strongest supporters of technical education.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held July 12 for the Dana J. Dykhouse Business Center of Learning. The building will house the school’s Business, Financial Services and General Education programs. It will also provide an anchor for the school’s new Archway Complex, which will tie the campus together via a walkway across Arrow Avenue.

Dykhouse, who is the CEO of First PREMIER Bank, has played an important role in advancing technical education in South Dakota and has been a strong voice for legislative support and funding. He is the current chair of the South Dakota Board of Technical Education and chairs the Build Dakota Scholarship board. “Technical education is essential to our state’s continued growth and success,” Dykhouse said. “It helps provide a sustainable workforce and it fills essential jobs. I am so pleased to see Lake Area Tech’s continued success and I’m especially honored to be a part of this project.”

Lake Area Technical College President Mike Cartney said, “We are truly honored. PREMIER and Dana have been great friends of Lake Area Tech and this community.  It is fitting that the business building be named after an individual that has given so much to our college and the state of South Dakota.” 

Funding for the Dana J. Dykhouse Business Center of Learning is a private/public initiative. First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard provided an $8 million gift and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem allocated an additional one-time funding of $7.5 million to assist with the Archway project. When complete, the 50,000 square foot complex will allow space to relocate programs, accommodate growth, and add capacity for 250 additional students. 

The Lake Area Technical College Foundation is currently leading a $40 Million Capital Campaign to build much-needed classroom and lab space on its campus. Today, Lake Area Tech has the student population that was projected for 2043 in facilities built to hold far fewer students.  The I’m IN Capital Campaign is well on its way to providing the much-needed funding to complete the building projects.  The Archway Complex is phase four of six in the overall campus build plan.  Completed to date are The Lab and the Prairie Lakes Healthcare Center of Learning.  Construction has begun on the Diesel Technology addition and building will begin late summer on the Archway. The final phases, Custom Paint & Fabrication and Aviation, are in the planning stages.


 About Lake Area Technical College: Lake Area Technical College is a public two-year college located in Watertown, SD.  The college was selected in 2017 as the #1 Two-Year College in the Nation by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence.  The 40-acre campus is home to approximately 2600 full and part-time students enrolled in 31 different programs of study both on-campus and online. The college has an 84% retention rate and 99% placement rate for graduates. Lake Area Tech is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  Learn more at www.lakeareatech.edu