After more than six months since a building fire forced newspaper staff to work from a temporary office location on Dakota Avenue, True Dakotan editor/publisher Kristi Hine is pleased to share with readers that progress is being made and renovation plans are moving forward this month.
“While I’m thankful we’ve been able to publish without missing a week since the fire, I can’t wait to get back to the newspaper building on Main Street,” she said. “With the help of family and friends, we’ve been able to start indoor demo and are excited that Total Construction will be arriving on scene later this month to begin major construction.”
Over the winter, paneling, carpet, a false ceiling and an indoor wall have been removed in the west office formerly occupied by the True Dakotan. Construction plans include cutting a doorway to connect the west office to the two east offices in the building. A bathroom expansion, garage addition, full electrical and HVAC renovation is also included in the scope of work.
“The south side of the entire building has been more or less falling into the alley for decades, so that will be removed later in the spring when we can also fill in the basement and do other dirt work,” Hine explained. “With the True Dakotan occupying the whole building facing Main Street, we will also rework the front of the building including entry doors, windows, ramps and signage.”
While Hine can’t project a move-in date just yet, she said she looks forward to inviting the community to the renovated building for an open house later in 2021.
“We are renovating to bring the building up to code and modern standards while preserving the rich history of Main Street in Wessington Springs,” said Hine of the building that has operated in a newspaper or print shop capacity since 1915. “I’m excited to bring this old gal back to her former glory.”