South Dakota couple turns old school into community center

BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. (AP) A couple has purchased a former high school in a western South Dakota with plans to turn the nearly century-old building into a community events center.

James and Provatia Pietila are familiar with renovation projects. In 2013, they purchased the former Lincoln School building in Belle Fourche, where they currently live.

Now, the Pietilas have set their sights on a new project downtown, the old Roosevelt High School building.

The Black Hills Pioneer reports that the couple purchased the building for $85,000 in November. They want to turn it into a space where community members can host potlucks, family gatherings, reunions, parties, weddings and league sports.

The Pietilas are applying to put the building on the National Register of Historic Places.

James Pietila says he thinks the project will help revitalize downtown Belle Fourche.

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Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com

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