CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. (KELO) — Bison at Custer State Park will soon have a visitor’s center all about them. Crews are putting some final touches on the brand new facility for Friday’s opening day.

Nearly 1,400 bison roam Custer State Park. The wild animals have been in our state for centuries and make up a large part of South Dakota’s History.

That’s why this new facility will be all about them.

“It’s an iconic animal and in the past, we’ve had so many people coming down here and touring the corals and wondering, ‘what’s going on? What are we looking at? What are we seeing?’ The center will now tell that story. It will tell the story of why we have bison in Custer State Park, so you get the whole picture when you visit the Bison Center,” Matt Snyder, Custer State Park Superintendent, said.

The brand new bison center is 4,000 square feet. The entire project cost around 5 million dollars.

Help from the Helmsley Charitable Trust made it all possible.

“It’s the one area that needs to be told the conservation efforts of the buffalo. Why they do what they do, why they have the roundup, why they vaccinate, how they manage the herd because that’s key to Custer State Park’s success with the buffalo with how well they’ve managed the herd for generations,” Walter Panzirer, Helmsley Trustee, said.

The Trust donated 4 million dollars to go towards the facility.

It opens Friday and will be open all summer for the thousands of people that visit the park each year.

For the remaining cost, $500,000 was allocated from the South Dakota Legislature and an additional $500,000 in private donations was raised by the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation.