Civic Center commissions new estimate for fixing ADA problems - KOTA Territory News

Civic Center commissions new estimate for fixing ADA problems

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Elvis opened the new Don Barnett arena in 1977. At the time, the facility was king but today, it has the general manager, Brian Maliske, singing the blues.
 
"It's easy to spot, we don't have [Americans with Disabilities Act] seats, restrooms, elevators. Its harder to spot that some of the widths aren't compliant, we don't have enough railings," said Maliske.
 
To bring the facility into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rushmore Plaza Civic Center board members face some tough decisions.
 
"There's a wide array of possibilities. Might be from nothing, leave it alone, all the way up to complete redesign, construction and replacement of the facility including parking facilities as well," said Jeff Bailie, board member.
 
To aid the decision-making process, civic center board members have commissioned a new estimate for compliance work, which will be released early next year.  Maliske anticipates a hefty price tag to bring the current arena into compliance.
 
"Ten million, $30 million, $50 millions, $60 million, I'm sure it's more than $10 million but I don't know. Do we want to put tens of millions or more into an old building?" said Maliske.
 
"We have a building that's aging, clearly there's efficiencies and equipment problems with maintaining facility of that size that need to be addressed.
 
A new arena isn't out of the question.  But board members say that decision will likely be left up to the community since it would require the use city vision project funds.
 
"We anticipate this community will refer the matter for a public vote regardless of the outcome of the studies," said Bailie.
 
Maliske only hopes the decision will allow the city to continue to draw the big name acts.

"What does it take to fix the dream of '72 and what does it take to dream in 2012?" said Maliske.

The ADA compliance issue must be resolved within a 3 year period.

The civic center board welcomes public input at its board meetings every 2nd and 4th Tuesday.

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