The council voted 7-0 to approve the plans at its meeting Monday night in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The Next Generation Corn Palace Committee presented the plan, which has been split into two phases, to the council at the July 1 council meeting. 

By approving the plans, the council authorized the committee to have architectural designs created for both phases by Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, a Minneapolis-based design firm involved in the project, with the understanding that the budget for the first phase is $4.2 million. 

“Frankly, we think it needs to be exciting,” said Doug Dailey, chairman of the Next Generation Corn Palace Committee, addressing the council. “We think the lights and the domes give us that excitement.” 

The new plan calls for changes to the outside of the Corn Palace, including new light-up domes, which will have LED lights with the ability to change color, plus larger murals with improved lighting and large windows that open to a walk-out balcony above the marquee, and numerous other changes. 

Phase one is aimed at improving the current Corn Palace and will cost an estimated $4,093,394. Phase two involves renovating the existing City Hall building, which is attached to the Corn Palace’s north side and will be vacated when a planned new city hall is built in southern downtown Mitchell. Phase two will convert part of the existing City Hall to tourism-themed exhibit space and will cost an estimated $3,081,946. That means the total cost of the project is expected to be $7,175,340. 

In December and January, the city sold $13.9 million in bonds, of which $6.5 million was earmarked for the Corn Palace project. The remainder of the money has been set aside for other ongoing projects in the city, including a new city hall, an addition to the indoor ice arena and an expansion and renovation of the public library. 

In phase two of the Corn Palace plan, changes to the City Hall building include a renovated entryway with a new cover, as well as space for exhibits and a theater inside. New bathrooms, better elevator access and an improved auxiliary gym on the second floor are also in phase two of the plan. 

The council voted unanimously to approve the new concept for the Corn Palace. Councilman Randy Doescher was out of town and did not attend the meeting. 

Councilman Mel Olson questioned, at first, whether the council should approve plans for the second phase of the project. The council’s membership could change drastically in the time it takes to vacate the current City Hall building and begin phase two of the project, Olson said. 

“You’re gambling that a new council is going to accept those plans,LED solar lights for project list and power.” Olson said, addressing Dailey. 

By approving the plans for phase two, Dailey said,A China Solar Led Lights is an obvious application given the growing interest in “green” systems. the committee will have designs ready to present to the council once that part of the project is ready to move forward. 

“I think you have to have a plan for the whole place,” he said. “Without it, we’re back to ‘what do we want to do?’” 

Council President Jeff Smith said he has heard a one-sided reaction to the new plans from members of the public.The efforts to use Solar street light in Lagos is far from yielding the desired result, as many installations don't function. 

“I’ve heard nothing but positive,” he said. 

Councilman Steve Rice expressed concern that the Corn Palace will cost more to maintain once the renovation and expansion is complete. Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling responded, and said until the architectural designs are completed, it will be difficult to estimate any change in maintenance costs.

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