Officials have broken ground on a $5 million visitor center for the Sanford Underground Research Facility at Lead.
South Dakota Science and Technology Authority Executive Director Mike Headley says construction of the 8,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to start Monday, with completion expected within a year.
Officials at the federally supported lab nearly a mile underground in the former Homestake gold mine are conducting research on complex subjects such as nuclear reactions within stars and dark matter, an elusive substance that scientists believe makes up about one-fourth of the universe.
Sanford Lab Governmental and External Affairs Director Ron Wheeler says the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center will showcase Lead's history and offer educational programs about the lab's science projects.
Sioux Falls philanthropist T. Denny Sanford provided funding for the center.