The report is in. "There is a minimum of 402 violations of the American with Disabilities Act that we've been able to identify," Rushmore Plaza Civic Center General Manager Bryan Maliske said.
The price tag to fix it: $37 million. "The Don Barnett Arena is such a big bearcat," Maliske continued.
It is the only area in the Civic Center that is not in compliance with the ADA. The question now: refurbish it or build new. "Our work has just begun this was the first step in a multi step process that we need to go out and pull down the information," Civic Center board member Jeff Bailie said.
Bailie hopes by late summer the Civic Center Futures committee will have a recommendation, but ultimately he says it's a community decision. A decision Maliske hopes comes sooner rather than later. "We need to make a plan and move forward so that if someone does sue us, if the Department of Justice says we want your plans, we're able to give them the plans," Maliske said. He also says the future plans need not only encompass the ADA compliance issues, but address other needs like parking. "Forty-one-hundred stalls is not enough," Maliske said.
Maliske estimates parking will cost between $35 and $60 million in addition to the ADA changes. "We need more and that's going to cost some money," he said.
Architects from Forefront Design in Rapid City believe they can make the arena 98% or 99% compliant if the city decides to refurbish it instead of building new.