Editorial: Don’t forget the National Music Museum
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Editorial: Don’t forget the National Music Museum

The National Music Museum (NMM) closed for expansion Oct. 7, 2018 and USD students, faculty and visitors alike have patiently waited for the reopening since.

With plans to reopen in the late spring of 2022, There is a chance that an entire class of USD students will not have the opportunity to see the museum while attending USD.

Third-year students at USD had roughly one month on campus before the museum closed, and will graduate in May of 2022, giving them very little opportunity to see the museum while attending USD.

The $10 million expansion started construction in June 2019, and was expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The expansion was greatly advertised and spoken about, but why is this expansion taking much longer than other renovations around campus?

The DakotaDome underwent a $26.3 million renovation in Feb. 2019 and concluded prior to the 2020-2021 academic year. This renovation included permanent seating to the west side of the Dome, new football offices and locker rooms, new lighting and sound systems and two new entrances to the west side. All of this was completed faster than the NMM expansion.

Surely, the 16,000 square foot expansion is a large project that requires a lot of detail, planning and work, but why aren’t there more announcements on progress and details on the project?

There was a lot of talk and excitement around the expansion project before it started, but that talk has slowly died around campus. The university and museum should be giving more information on the project, and trying to keep the excitement around the museum alive, especially as we near the finish of the project.

Both the DakotaDome and NMM projects positively impact the campus and will surely attract more students and visitors alike, but why isn’t there more push and excitement around the NMM. There are billboards on Interstate 29 and in Yankton advertising the museum but have had a “Closed for Renovation, Stay Tuned” sticker slapped on since fall 2018.

USD is blessed with great attractions like the NMM and DakotaDome, but one of the two is getting forgotten about due to the expansion project. 

USD has great art programs and athletics, but students may not know that there is a National Music Museum or where it is located. Don’t let the history and beauty of the NMM fade due to this extended expansion. It will be worth the wait.