Skip to main content

USD School of Health Sciences Groundbreaking Set for April 1

The new School of Health Sciences building rendering USD will host the official groundbreaking of the new School of Health Sciences building April 1.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota will host the official groundbreaking of the new School of Health Sciences building Thursday, April 1 at 1 p.m. in the Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Building parking lot, at the intersection of Dakota and Clark Streets.

“The groundbreaking and construction of the new School of Health Sciences building reflects a commitment from the state of South Dakota, industry leaders and the university to strengthen health care education, and it represents a critical contribution to improving health care in our state,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring.

The new building will house many programs of the School of Health Sciences, including dental hygiene, nursing, physician assistant, addiction counseling and prevention, medical laboratory science, public health and health sciences, and social work.

As the only comprehensive school of health sciences in South Dakota, the USD School of Health Sciences boasts more than 2,000 students, graduates between 500 and 600 students each year and offers 16 degree-granting programs. Approximately half of the 50,000 technical and professional health care jobs in South Dakota require a college degree, and half of those degrees have been earned at USD. Over 63% of those who graduate from a program in the School of Health Sciences remain in South Dakota to practice.

“The soon-to-be 3-story, 45,000 square-foot building is more than brick and mortar to us,” said Haifa Abou Samra, Ph.D., School of Health Sciences dean. “It is the culmination of years of planning and efforts by many individuals. This building is a worthy and necessary investment not only today, but also for the future. It is a critical asset that assures us South Dakota’s best and brightest will receive exemplary education, allowing them to contribute to our state’s health care and economy.”

The new School of Health Sciences building is projected to be completed in August 2023.

Masks are expected for all attendees.

Media please RSVP to Hanna DeLange at


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News