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2 Broadcaster Press October 2, 2018 www.broadcasteronline.com New at Dog and Cat Food in Yankton •$1 off Dog Treats •50¢ off Canned Dog & Cat Food •$2 to $5 off Bagged Dog & Cat Food ALE ON S W NO OUTSTANDING McVicker Plaza Grand Opening, Ribbon Cutting Marks Progressive Time In Vermillion By David Lias david.lias@plaintalk.net Overwhelming. That’s how Vermillion Mayor Jack Powell described the finished McVicker Plaza, located at 2 E. Main Street in the community’s downtown, shortly before a ribbon cutting ceremony that celebrated the completion of a remodeling of the historic structure. “The union of the community and the university has never been better, and I think that’s a tribute to the leadership of the university and also the people in our community,” he said. “It’s a real pleasure for me to welcome all of you to the ribbon cutting of this fantastic building.” The historic building, which dates to 1884, has undergone a monumental renovation to preserve its structural integrity, resurrect its original façade, and prepare it to serve a wide range of purposes. The building’s second floor houses offices and other workspace for the VCDC staff. The ground floor includes a Visitors Center, a new, long-term home for Charlie’s, USD’s retail store and a new collaborative co-working and entrepreneurial center. Nearly 200 people were on hand Friday evening to help conclude two days of celebration that marks the completion and transformation of the building that over the years has served Vermillion well. In the early 1970s, the building was the home of Modern Electric Company, a business that sold electronics and appliances. In the 1990s, it housed Maurice’s, a women’s apparel store. The building was purchased by Phyllis Packard and her son, Aaron Packard in the spring of 2004. They were the last owners of the building before its purchase by the VCDC this last year. The building initially housed Aaron Packard Photography and The Main Street Gallery. In 2005, the Packards changed the name of their businesses to LumoStudios and Gallery. Nate Welch, the VCDC’s executive director and a featured speaker at Friday evening’s event, thanked the Vermillion community for not only attending the ceremony but also showing support to the VCDC over the years. “As a community, as we try to move forward, we all know that saying and we live by it -- decisions are made by those who show up,” he said. “It’s the way that we can get things done. Today is an exciting day because we’ve really been able to get a lot of things done.” The ribbon cutting ceremony Friday evening also marked the conclusion of a busy day for VCDC and University of South Dakota personnel. Earlier that afternoon, VCDC, city and USD officials joined directors and staff of the National Music Museum for a groundbreaking ceremony on a patch of land just east of Polaris that is part of the Riverbend Business Park. A new preservation center for the music museum will be constructed on that site. “To say that we are doing a lot of thing would be an understatement and I think as a community, we have all the reasons to be proud,” Welch said. “We have reasons to be proud of us working together between the city, the university and the community at large. Thank you so much for being here, thank for showing up and celebrating with us and thank you for those days to come as we use this space and we continue to collaborate together.” Welch thanked the Vermillion Now! 2 investors that helped make McVicker Plaza a reality. “This facility was funded with a lot of e those Vermillion Now funds,” he said. “One activ of the priorities of Vermillion Now is for us inter to be able to continually advance our entrepreneurial ecosystem. To be able to do that, we’ve got to create space where we can have these transitions, where we can have these intersections, and this space allows us to be able to do that. “This space allows our office and our staff to be able to serve our Chamber members the best that they can,” he said. “This space allows us to be able to promote the amazing things that our visitor and tourism industry has.” One of those great things, Welch said, “is David Lias/Vermillion Plain Talk Representatives of the City of Vermillion, the Vermillion Chamber and Development the gem that we have right here in VermilCompany, the University of South Dakota and the Vermillion community in general lion -- the National Music Museum.” celebrate the grand opening of McVicker Plaza in the heart of downtown Friday with A guitar from the museum was on disa ribbon cutting. play near the large staircase at the front of cooperative, entrepreneurial work area, the the Beacom School of Business at USD. McVicker Plaza. “Dean Venky has been an amazing main floor of McVicker Plaza also houses a The guitar was there, Welch said, “not partner between the university and the large conference room used by the VCDC just because we want to decorate this beaucommunity, always willing to work toBoard of Directors and other community tiful space, but because when we work and gether. He was one of the first supporters boards that need meeting space. we talk about Vermillion, we want to show of this project and remains a continued Puetz Construction, the same firm that them what Vermillion is. When people are built the Vermillion Technology Center, also supporter.” walking through, going to Charlie’s or walkVenkatachalam said after arriving at was the main contractor for the McVicker ing through our office, we can show them USD four years ago, he and the staff at the Plaza project. what there is in Vermillion. We can direct Beacom School of Business formulated a “They were committed for us to be able them down to the National Music Museum.” mission statement. to make sure that as many times as was Welch also thanked First Bank and Trust, “Number one, we want to be the school possible, we found every local person that which financed the construction loan for of choice for high quality students, and had the ability to be able to contribute to the renovation of the building and USDA this building,” Welch said. “They made sure we are. We have made significant progress Rural Development which also provided in both in quality and quantity in recruitto move this project along. Any time you’re loan funds for the work. ing and retaining very high quality studiving into a historical building, you’re go“One of the great funders was the City of ing to have challenges. Steadfast leadership dents,” he said. “Personally, our students Vermillion. The leadership of our council, are amazing. The work ethic they come and intelligence is what they brought and the leadership of Mayor Jack (Powell) helps to class with every day, the modesty, the we cannot thank them enough.” us continue to move forward,” he said. “It humility that they show and that, comHe also thanked his co-workers at the helps us to move forward with pride and bined with the dedication of a world-class VCDC. with confidence. That support that our city faculty -- we are doing amazing things.” “Your staff at the VCDC is more commitleaders have is not something that every A second component of that mission ted to this community than any other group city has and I think we should be extremely statement, Venkatachalam said, is to make I’ve ever met,” Welch said. “They know the proud of that. Thank you to our city leaders a commitment to be a driver for economic mission and purpose of our community and thank you for the partnership with the development in the state and region. and they want to be able to keep moving city.” “I’m not Vermillion and I’m not from forward and I can’t thank them enough.” Welch offered thanks to Keith Thompson South Dakota, like Scott Pohlson. We have Welch also talked about a meeting he and his team of Koch Hazard Architects of something in common,” he said. “This had with Scott Pohlson, vice president Sioux Falls. state is an amazing state with educational of enrollment, marketing and university “They worked with us to be able to system and the values that people demrelations at the University of South Dakota. design a space that not only is beautiful onstrate every day -- the hard work, the Pohlson had an idea of locating a retail from the moment you walk into it, but was work ethic, the honesty, the humility that store downtown -- Charlie’s -- and after allowable for us to be able to use it,” he they show -- we can do wonders.” meeting with Welch, the concept of the said. “We are an organization where we are Venkatachalam described other activistore and the VCDC sharing a new space very proud to show off, but we have a lot ties and other educational institutions the together was born. of work to do. We needed to design this Beacom School of Business is involved Pohlson introduced Diane Wirth, USD’s space so that every inch of it has a specific with to promote economic development retail development coordinator, to the purpose and we also wanted to pay tribute in South Dakota. crowd. to the historical nature of this space. I can’t “Towards that, I’m so delighted that I “She oversees Charlie’s,” he said. “She is tell you how grateful I am for the work that a workaholic and die-hard Coyote and a die- have a very, very strong, positive relaKeith did in giving us advice on how we tionship working with Nate Welch both hard Vermillionaire. She truly represents, could pay tribute to that historic aspect on a personal level and a professional from a simple standpoint, the partnership and build a space that is beautiful and uslevel,” he said. “We are going to have four between a town and gown relationship. She able.” student scholarships, two coming from runs Charlie’s, she runs me and she’s the Whoever owned the building nearly a the Beacom School of Business and two reason Charlie’s is going to continue to be century ago made a big change to its front coming from the VCDC, and to have those successful.” appearance. four students given those scholarships … Pohlson, who is not from South Dakota, In the early 1920s, the front facade was and those four students are going to be grew up in a small town. changed to a rather plain brick design. ambassadors for entrepreneurship.” “One of the things I can tell you is I’m so Today, McVicker Plaza’s exterior nearly “Congratulations to the entire comexcited about the progress that Vermillion resembles its original appearance. munity of Vermillion,” University of South and USD has made,” he said. “If you look at There are entrances near the front’s what our freshman class has done this year, Dakota President Sheila Gestring said at west and east sides with a main entrance the conclusion of the Friday celebration. it’s a record class. It’s historical; it’s the in the center. The front windows, which for “I see everyone here -- we have (reprelargest we’ve ever had. It takes a commudecades looked like traditional department sentatives of) the school district, the city, nity, because when they come to visit, they store windows with a display space, have we have community members, we have want to know what this place has to offer been replaced with new windows that go county representatives and we have peooutside of the campus.” from floor to ceiling. ple from the university.” Pohlson said, in his opinion, the univerLarge second floor windows with arched The entire week, she said, has been sity’s successful athletic program also plays tops and decorative exterior trim have been filled with things to celebrate in Vermila factor in attracting more students. returned to the building. “I also think it takes individuals like Nate, lion. They closely resemble how like President (Sheila) Gestring, who have a the windows a Summer Save $30 on appear in his- AC vision and are willing to take risks,” he said. our“As Scott mentioned, we've welcomed Tune-Up! largest incoming class in the history toric photos of the structure of USD. We’ve celebrated great improve“Honestly, Charlie’s is a risk, but what’s taken before 1920. ments in enrollment and bar passage cool about Charlie’s is a percentage of the Besides Charlie’s and a revenue gen- rates at the law school,” she said. “Earlier Just give us a call and we’ll today, we broke ground for the preservaerated from tion center which is another fabulous it goes to send out a qualified partnership between the university, the $ 99 fund scholServiceFresh Choice Whole like Technician lb. community and now the National Music arships. $ 49 Farmland Boneless Hams....................... Museum. 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