MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) — The Corn Palace in Mitchell stands as a landmark in Eastern South Dakota. It is a place for shows, sporting events and more. However, the century-old building is in need of a renovation.
“If you’ve ever been here for some of the big basketball tournaments, you’ll know this place is packed and full of spectators,” Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson said. “You know, with that functionality of it is, we have high school, college practices here. Both men, women, boys, girls. It gets a lot of use during the winter months and the schedule is really cramped for that.”
The renovation would focus on the interior of the building, including the arena, which hasn’t gone through a full renovation since it was built nearly 100 years ago.
“A lot of big name bands like John Phillips Sousa and those kinds of people came here and played. Basketball is really what it’s kind of become known for. It was kind of a secondary use at that time or wasn’t used much for sports. The stage was set up for shows, and of course the seating was set up for shows, and what we need to do now is look at what we can do to better utilize the space,” Everson said.
About two years ago, the lobby was renovated as well as some of the exterior, but this renovation would focus on the arena.
“We have fixed seating right now that’s a stadium type seating, but a very gradual slope to the seats, so what we’re looking at is possibly changing that,” Everson said. “Making maybe a more steep slope to the way the seats are arranged and then decreasing the fixed seats, and making it more of a bleacher style seat with a back that can be pulled out as we need it for additional capacity, or could be closed, so that we have more floor space.”
They may also consider adding to the exterior of the building on the East side, where the locker rooms currently are.
Design plans have yet to be finalized. It is all part of a five to ten year plan that could cost between 10 and 20 million dollars.