Mines students help OST design first structural fire station on Pine Ridge

PINE RIDGE, S.D. — South Dakota Mines students are helping the Oglala Sioux Tribe build a first of it’s kind fire station for the reservation.

OST officials asked and eight students are delivering.

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Two Mines graduates, Joseph Updike and William Smith, (far right) were invited to join tribal officials during the official groundbreaking for the new fire station on Pine Ridge. (photo courtesy: SDSMT)

They set out to design a fire station in the town of Pine Ridge – the first dedicated to protecting structures located on the reservation.

The facility will also serve as a way to enable homeowners and businesses in Pine Ridge to get fire insurance for their buildings – a solution to previously unmet standard response times.

“When you don’t meet those, your insurance prices are super high, so its kind of a two front – where you’re instilling the infrastructure in the area so that you’re enticing people to build businesses and homes there,” said Logan Gayton, Mines Grad, FMG Engineering.

It’s set to be completed late this year or early next.

South Dakota Mines is also working with Cheyenne River and Rosebud Tribes to provide similar design projects.

Gayton says he hopes this project is a stepping stone for the tribes in economic development and sustainable growth.

“I want it to be a sustainable thing where they can look intrinsically and do the things themselves…just as a native person who looks at it and sees it as I know we’re not at point where we can do it, but I want to be able to,” Gayton said.

The project was funded through a technical assistance grant from USDA Rural Development that seeks to help improve infrastructure in rural communities.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News