After nearly 30 years, the Hettinger High School gymnasium has brand new scoreboards. According to what Athletic Director Jon Kohler could find out, the old ones were hung on the walls in 1991, and were maxed out on upgrades.
“They were pretty much on their way out,” Kohler said.
Problems started to arise last year, in September when WiFi was installed in the arena. Kohler said that the wireless internet disrupted the communication between the scoreboards and the controllers. So he started to research purchasing new equipment.
He went out talked to area businesses about his venture, and Kohler was able to secure a generous donation from both Dakota Western Bank, and Dacotah Bank, which made the purchase possible.
“Without our donors we wouldn’t be here today,” Kohler said. “We’re just thankful that these two banks stepped up and willing to help us out, it’s a huge thing.”
Dakota Western Bank’s Executive Vice-President Magnus Meier said they were happy to help.
“It’s an honor and privilege to give back to the community,” Meier said.
The new boards came from Daktronics, an electronics company headquartered in Brookings, S.D. Kohler said the process was nice because he was able to select from a variety of display formats and was able to customize parts of it too.
“We got to fully design everything, I sat down with the guy form Daktronics,” he said. “Everything came through Daktronics.”
The company even supplied the sponsor signs that hang below each of the boards.
Along with up-to-date components, the new boards allow the operator to input team names above the respected score, rather than just ‘home’ and ‘away.’ The modernized boards should be capable of handling the scoring for the next 30 years.
“These are good for another 27 years,” Kohler said.
Servicing is a part of the purchase agreement if there is a repair needed, Kohler said.
The old boards won’t go to the dumpster though. Kohler told the Record that they will be hung in the armory. Though ownership of the equipment between the city—which operates the armory—and the city has yet to be determined.
Kohler has seemingly taken to revitalize the gymnasium. His next project is securing donors for new shot clocks and light for the backboards. He already has one vouched for.ing issues.
“At the end of the day we have to make a tough business decision and close some of those and reallocate those resources in other ways,” he said. “We understand there’s an impact there. But certainly there are other banking opportunities within Dacotah Bank whether that be Hettinger, [or] online.”
The future of the building is still undecided. Singer said that they are willing to work with any potential buyer.
“There’s no doubt [that] there’s been some interest in it,” he said.
According to the press release, the company is working with four affected employees about some options and future opportunities.
Dacotah Bank is based in Aberdeen, S.D. and has locations in Hettinger and Lemmon, S.D.