HURON, S.D. (KELO) — Construction is underway for the new Dakota Events Complex at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds.

After the Open Class Beef Complex was destroyed by fire in 2020, the idea of the DEX building was created. It will serve as a multipurpose livestock and equestrian facility for events during and outside of the state fair.

Things are looking a bit different at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds. The sheep barn has been torn down and construction on the Dakota Events Complex has begun.

“Currently, we are working to replace some water and sewer mainlines out here on livestock avenue and then construction will continue throughout the summer on the DEX,” said Candi Briley, South Dakota State Fair assistant manager.

Not only will this new building modify the current fairgrounds, but it will also serve as a new event center for Huron.

“Anytime you can host events in your community, you are doing such a great thing,” said Laurie Shelton, President and CEO of the Huron Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau. “People are coming in, they are spending money, which is what we want and they are going to be able to see our Huron hospitality.”

The DEX will have two different rodeo arenas and up to 1,700 cattle stalls, making it easy to host a variety of livestock shows and other events.

“It’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for us to, you know, have the different events here on the fairgrounds adding to the traffic here in fairgrounds,” said Briley.

The DEX Center is scheduled to be completed in June of 2023, meaning this year’s fair will look a little different.

“Open class sheep show will be held the weekend prior to the fair and then the beef show will be held on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the fair as well so we really look forward to welcoming those folks and putting on really great shows for them,” said Briley.

Building excitement throughout the town about a new facility.

“It just shows that prosperity, that things are going well and people love to see new things. They like to know that you are growing and that you’re expanding,” said Shelton.

Now that the sheep barn has been torn down, there are plans in the works for a new sheep complex. The committee consists of both sheep industry leaders and fairground representatives.