Dakota State University Madison Cyber Labs

Madison, South Dakota

Founded in 1881 as a Normal School (teacher training school), Dakota State University began to redefine itself in 1984 to its current signature mission of technology. Since that time, DSU has become a nationally recognized leader in technology and cybersecurity education.  DSU is a great example of an institution that has had clarity of vision toward its future, and the fortitude to make fundamental shifts in its core mission.  The cybersecurity program at DSU has been immensely successful in attracting South Dakota students who, after graduation, remain in-state with high-paying, fulfilling careers.  To continue to allow for program growth, DSU made the decision, with the support of the state legislature, to expand their research and training capabilities with this new building.

The building site is on a prominent corner at one of the main access points to campus.  Adjacent to residential neighborhoods, the building was scaled appropriately and accented with a combination of architectural and textural elements that would enhance both the surrounding community and campus. The building puts the research area on display so the public can get a look into the interesting and exciting work that occurs in the space.  The secure side is shielded from the public eye.

To create a warm campus welcome, an inviting design of outdoor seating was implemented just to the south of the entry, along with natural landscaping that introduces grasses and wildflowers native to South Dakota – a distinct design DSU anticipates extending throughout the remaining campus.  The column-free research space sits above a raised access flooring system which allows for ultimate flexibility in the space.

Completion Date


"It’s one of few buildings in the country that combines all facets of cybersecurity research on a university campus. We really see this building and the capabilities and expertise on this campus as a catalyst for great economic development across the state in the coming decades."
– Dave Link, Program Director