The ongoing renovation of downtown Watertown’s historic Goss Opera House will receive two major donations, including a matching one from an anonymous donor through the Watertown Area Community Foundation and another one from Reliabank.
The announcements were made during a special fundraising event inside the Opera House.
As for the anonymous donor, any donations made toward the renovation of the 130-year-old building, which includes a performance theater and the incoming Mavericks restaurant, from now through Dec. 31, the donor will match the donations up to $250,000.
The announcement was made by Charlie Ewalt, chairman of the WACF Board of Directors. Ewalt made the announcement during the special event held in front of about 100 people in the Goss theater.
Saying the WACF is proud to support the Goss’ renovation, Ewalt said, “It truly takes an entire community to do something this great as to what it being done in the Goss. Building momentum takes everyone working together.”
Right before Ewalt’s announcement, Reliabank Chairman David Johnson announced the bank would double its $125,000 contribution toward the Goss’ renovation, bringing the bank’s total Goss donation to $250,000.
With the renovation including the recently completed new roof as well as a new and efficient HVAC system, the project has seen much support, both monetarily to the tune of $2.85 million received in pledges as well as intense interest.
The renovation has even drawn the interest from South Dakota’s highest ranking elected official in Gov. Kristi Noem as well as her husband, South Dakota First Gentleman Bryon.
With both speaking, Gov. Noem said the Goss renovation is very important not just to Watertown but South Dakota due to the building’s ability to host a variety of events while also being a cultural landmark.
“This place is super special,” Noem said. “When we get this completed and across the finish line, it will add a lot of value.”
Noem added the Goss holds a special place for her family, being a jewel in a community where her mother, Corrine Arnold, and siblings live.
“My mom has been passionate about the Goss forever. You know when your mom cares about something you never hear the end of it,” Noem said. “Our entire family just thinks this is a wonderful, wonderful opportunity for South Dakota and for Watertown. From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate you being here. We appreciate you being willing to get behind this project and make sure we’re creating opportunities to keep the next generation right here in South Dakota.”
Renovations on the Goss are expected to be completed next spring.