Repair, remodel, replace? Civic Center future uncertain

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Task Force is still working to address ADA compliance issues.

They met Dec. 19 to update the public on the group's work and activities in regards to the 40-year-old Don Barnett Arena. Aside from ADA violations, elements needing to be addressed include life safety issues such as air quality, falling hazards and inadequate systems in the event of a black out.

The group is studying whether to repair, remodel or to replace the building.

“By September 2017 the city needs to present to the Department of Justice a plan for curing the civil rights violations of the arena.  We are right now just looking at all the options, all the costs and attempting to come up with the specifics of each of those options,” said Task Force Member Rick Kahler.

The next step is to analyze costs versus return to the community and present that information to the mayor and council.

Voters in 2015 rejected a $180 million expansion of the building. However, $1.3 million from the city's Vision Fund was set aside earlier this year to address safety and ADA enhancements to the Civic Center - but those projects excluded the Don Barnett Arena.

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