Civic Center board members look at other options for A.D.A. comp - KOTA Territory News

Civic Center board members look at other options for A.D.A. compliance

The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center's Barnett Arena is the source of many Americans with Disabilities Act, or A.D.A. complaints and violations. For the past few weeks, the civic center board has been working to make changes, proposing a plan to add a wheelchair lift to the southern section of the arena. But that idea is not going to work. Today the civic center board decided to get more people involved and continue to work on the issue.
Jeff Bailie, civic center board of directors chairman, says it can be frustrating dealing with such a complex issue. "We are trying to mitigate and retro fit a facility that was never designed to do the things that we're asking it to do," said Bailie.
The Barnett Arena, which was built before there was the Americans with Disabilities Act, doesn't have adequate seating for those with limited mobility. "Our initial thought was we can install this lift open up the south balcony for additional seating, and the fire department got involved," said Bailie.
Chief Mike Maltaverne, Rapid City Fire Department, says the plan to install a lift and expand seating to the south balcony wasn't very safe."Other events that may cause a very rapid evacuation and those with disabilities may be slowed or hampered by other people trying to get out," said Chief Maltaverne.
Now, civic center board members are looking at other options to serve all of their patrons. "We decided to go back to the table look at it again call in key figures people that have background and experience that can help us to identify what the options are," said Bailie.
Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker says that even though this is a difficult task, making the barnett arena A.D.A. compliant is a must. "All these issues it just creates another set of issues but that doesn't relieve us from our duties of needing to come up with some type of a band aid fix," said Mayor Kooiker.
And whether it is a band aid fix or a new arena altogether, Bailie says they will do something. "We're genuine and sincere in wanting to serve all of our patrons in our service area," said Bailie.

Members of the civic center board and city planners will meet soon to discuss other options.
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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

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