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City of Aberdeen in talks to repurpose Presentation College campus

Presentation College has closed, but that’s not necessarily the end of the story. The Presentation Sisters – and the city of Aberdeen – are now looking forward to pick up the pieces.

After over 70 years of history, Presentation College is now in the process of shuttering. Next comes the question of what to do with the remaining facilities.

Robin Bobzien is the city manager of Aberdeen. He said the community has entered early talks to save some of the campus.

“The Sisters wanted to make sure that some parts of the campus remained open to the public and remained a big part of the community," Bobzien said. "So, the partnership seemed to be very well aligned. The city at this point is working on some things with the Sisters to make sure the dome and the Strode Center are part of our programming through parks and recreation.”

Now, the city is figuring out how to best use the space.

“Parks and rec has been pondering what it is that we can do with them, what type of programming we can do," Bobzien said. "It’s still pretty early to know exactly how everything is going to work out but our intention is to make sure those facilities are being put to good use and make sure they’re being utilized as the Sisters had intended.”

With Presentation now closed, Bobzien reflected on the impact the school and Sisters had made.

“They’ve done a lot of things to make sure they’re enhance the quality of life for everybody in the area," Bobzien said. "They have a mission and are very empathetic and compassionate to the community and want to make sure they’re doing the right thing for all parts of the community. We’ve had a really good relationship with them.”

Bobzien said he doesn’t expect the closure of Presentation College to be the end of the relationship between Aberdeen and the Presentation Sisters.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture