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Mitchell VFW Ready To Move On As Old Building Set For Demolition

July 8, 2014, 5:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Mitchell VFW Ready To Move On As Old Building Set For Demolition
MITCHELL, SD -

It once was an active spot for Mitchell veterans to meet and reminisce about their time in the service, but now it sits empty waiting for the official decision to tear it down.

"This particular building and the side of it was a big eye sore. We're located on Main Street, the entrance into our city," Mitchell Mayor Ken Tracy said.

"It's kind of sad, you know, and we were there for 20 years and we all have a lot of good memories of that place, but it was over 100 years old and it was showing it's wear and tear," VFW post commander Gloria Hanson said.

The City agreed to buy the building last fall after a wall that once was shared by the Longhorn Bar was damaged during its demolition. In March of this year, the VFW officially moved into a new spot a block away.

"This was an old jewelry store before we moved in and we gutted it all and started anew, and it does look nice and we're all proud of it," Hanson said.

In a span of four months, Hanson and the rest of the VFW have made the best of the hand they were dealt.

"We've had a few little things, but we're not done yet. We still have the upstairs to go and the back, we're going to put a patio out there. The window displays still aren't done, but we're working on everything," Hanson said.

Once the demolition to the VFW begins, another concern could rise up. The VFW shares a portion of a wall with the neighboring American Legion. The city hopes to avoid a case of déjà vu.

"There's only three or four 2x4 or 2x6 that are attached to the American Legion, mainly to support the roof of the VFW, and the structural engineers didn't think that was going to be much of a problem," Tracy said.

Hanson hopes the Legion doesn't have to go through the same stress they endured. Now that things are settling down, the city and the VFW are ready to move on.

"It's worked out for us, it has, but it has been a long transition, and we all do want to put it behind us now," Hanson said.

The Mitchell City Council reviewed one bid for the demolition project and decided to reject it for now. The project is now re-open for bids and those will be accepted starting on July 28.

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