HURON, S.D. (KELO-AM) Clover Hall, the largest non-animal building on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds, is currently in the process of being demolished.
On Thursday, Nov. 21, crews began taking down the structure, which was built in the early 1950s. Over the years, Clover Hall, located at the southwest corner of the grounds, has been home to 4-H exhibits and competitions and has housed 4-H members in its dorm rooms.
A new exhibit hall will be built to replace Clover Hall over the next few years. A statewid capital campaign for the building recently kicked off at the state fair in September. To date, $1.5 million of $4 million has been raised for the project.
The new 46,910 square-foot exhibit hall will feature more than 35,000 square feet of exhibit space, multiple classrooms, a large kitchen for 4-H Special Foods competitions, year-round concessions and a performance stage.
The community of Huron and the surrounding area will benefit from the additional exhibit hall for events in the off-season, which will also create added revenues for the State Fair.
“This demolition project is a reflection of the tremendous excitement and support we’ve seen from the community of Huron,” said Jerome Hertel, state fair manager. “Beadle County, the City of Huron and some local private contractors have pulled together to provide the entire demolition process at no cost to the Fair Foundation.”
Families involved in 4-H at the State Fair are looking forward to the new structure. Quinten Burg of Wessington Springs recalls his days spent at Clover Hall.
“Clover Hall was essential for the fairgrounds and 4-H kids for half a century,” said Burg. “My family will remember the building fondly, but we are excited for the new exhibit hall to be built so our future generations can enjoy the same fun learning experiences we had at the fair.”
Joyce Schilder’s family has been involved in 4-H at the State Fairgrounds for generations, with her great-grandchildren currently enjoying 4-H and its activities at the State Fair. Joyce lives in Faulkton, and has been involved in 4-H since childhood. She is looking forward to the new exhibit hall, which will allow her and many other families’ long-standing traditions to continue far into the future.
State Fair attendance has been on the rise since 2006, with nearly 200,000 visitors in 2013, and with that has come increased revenues for the grounds. 4-H is the largest youth development organization in the nation, with 9,000 members within South Dakota. The ever-evolving organization boasted more than 17,700 pre-entered exhibits and 10,500 display exhibits at the 2013 State Fair
Those interested in supporting the capital campaign are invited to contact the State Fair office at 605.353.7340 or visit www.sdstatefairfoundation.com.