Civic Center board proposes band-aide fix for arena disability - KOTA Territory News

Civic Center board proposes band-aide fix for arena disability compliance


The Don Barnett Arena will likely get a quick fix in an effort to better accommodate people with disabilities.  After a lengthy discussion Tuesday morning, the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Board passed a motion to draft a proposal for changes to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act or ADA.  They will present it to the city council on April 7th.

The proposed changes would cost around $100,000 and increase the ADA seating from 19 to 35. To do this, the south balcony would be re-done and a wheelchair lift would be added.  "It will not make it ADA compliant but it will show the people in the ADA community that we're trying," Civic Center General Manager Brian Maliske said.
If the improvements do happen, there will be around 500 fewer seats in the arena.  

There was discussion about closing the arena completely, but Maliske and others say they can't afford to, even though keeping it open is a liability.

While there has only been one formal complaint made to the Department of Justice, Mayor Sam Kooiker says there have been hundreds of informal complaints.
The first in a series of public hearings regarding the Civic Center expansion project is scheduled for this Thursday night from 6 to 7:30 at the Civic Center.


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