Identities Of STAR Academy Purchasers Released

       We now know it was two Custer couples who paid $1.325-million dollars at an auction Feb 12 for the remaining 133-acres at the former STAR Academy juvenile corrections complex just south of Custer.

      The names of Paul and Haylee Vershure, who own a home construction company, and Mark and Kim Neilsen, who own an excavation firm, were released after Gov Kristi Noem approved and signed the sale documents. 

       SD Commissioner of School and Public Lands Ryan Brunner says closing on the property, originally opened in 1902 as the state tuberculosis sanitarium, is still a few months away. 

      Brunner also says the Vershures and Neilsens will form a new company or LLC for developing the property.