State Bar’s staff leader answers questions about group’s plan to move

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Come January the State Bar of South Dakota will have a new home a few blocks farther west but still in Pierre. The legal association’s executive director, Andy Fergel, recently answered questions from KELOLAND Capitol News Bureau reporter Bob Mercer about the transition.

The State Bar of South Dakota has been in the Sahr Building at 222 E. Capitol Avenue in Pierre since about 1970, shortly after the late Bill Sahr was chosen as the bar’s executive director. I understand a move is planned. Where will the new home be and when will the change occur? 

The State Bar Office will be moving to the first floor of the Hyde Building located at the corner of Pierre Street and Capitol Avenue. Staff’s last day in the Sahr Building will be December 31, 2019, and our first workday at the new location will be January 2, 2020. 

The new location is across from the Hughes County Courthouse. Who else has space there? 

Others that have space in the Hyde Building are the Federal Public Defenders; U.S. Senate Office for Senator (Mike) Rounds; Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore LLP (Pierre branch of the Rapid City-based law firm); Edward Jones Financial; Pure Bliss Café; Bokay Studio Flower Shop; and Pankratz and Associates. 

Why is the State Bar moving? 

Our current office location does not have a conference room and is not configured in a manner conducive to adding staff. 

Since the State Bar has occupied the space at its current location for so long it needs a remodel. Therefore, if the State Bar was going to make a change in the location of its office, this was the time to do it.    

What advantages will the new location bring? 

The new location has enough space for the Bar to add an administrative assistant to staff and build out a functional conference room. 

In all, the State Bar’s new office space will have six offices, a conference room, a copy and supply room, a reception area, and adequate room for storage. 

With the added space, if members have a deposition, mediation, a client meeting, or other need for short-term space in Pierre, the State Bar will have the ability to accommodate them. 

Relocating to new space will also provide our organization with an opportunity to move to more efficient and effective technology to support the way our employees work, provide for cyber security, and institute managed IT (information technology) services. 

Furthermore, the move will require us to do some old-fashioned housekeeping in getting rid of the things we don’t need and hold on to what we do. 

Will there be any change in rent or lease price? 

There will be a small increase in per square foot lease price compared the rate the State Bar is currently paying. 

What is the State Bar’s current membership? 

As of October 1, 2019, the State Bar of South Dakota has 1,907 active in-state members, 738 active out-of-state members, 252 inactive in-state members and 370 inactive out-of-state members. 

What will happen to the space the State Bar will be leaving? 

We are unsure what will happen to the space we are vacating. 

Anything else you’d like to point out? 

The State Bar of South Dakota is appreciative of the long-term relationship it has had with its current landlord, the Sahr family. We are especially appreciative of the hospitality the Sahrs have shown staff and our members over the years and thank them for it. 

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