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Leonard F. Swanson

Leonard Swanson
Leonard F. Swanson

Distinguished Engineer

Hometown: Sioux Falls

Civil Engineering,

Leonard F. Swanson served in the U.S. Army during World War II, before attending South Dakota State College. He worked for Western Architects for one year and then began employment with the city of Rapid City in 1952 as a design engineer. He worked in various positions for the city of Rapid City and was appointed public works direct in 1969. Swanson was the first person within the state of South Dakota to hold such a position and supervised all consulting firms employed by the city and was responsible for the administration of all federal grants. Following the Rapid City Flood of 1972. Swanson was appointed director of the City Urban Renewal Agency where he supervised the reactivation of municipal services. He was responsible for the implementation of a $75 million recovery program that involved the acquisition and relocation of 150 business sites and 1,100 residential units. The recovery program also included the construction of new recreational and park activities within the urban flood plain. He also directed other municipal projects including improvements of the Rapid City Regional Airport along with street and parking designs for the Rapid City Civic Center Plaza Corp. He received several honors and awards for his work in the Rapid City flood recovery program including the R.A. Pier Good Government Award.