Rapid City council to ponder new civic center design - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City council to ponder new civic center design

 Will Rushmore Plaza Civic Center go "Blue"?

An architectural-engineering presentation to the Rapid City Council on Monday, July 7, may set the course for expanding and changing the civic center. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

The city's event hub was built when the Ford Pinto was America's top selling car. Changes are need, not only to accommodate growing demands and requirements of traveling entertainment productions, but there are violations of handicapped access and safety codes, as well as concerns about arena roofing supports.

Studies over 21/2 years and four months of community meetings recently resulted in an expansion-renovation plan called the 'Blue Concept.' Other considered options included red and green concepts.

It includes $120 million for a new sports arena, $25 million for a parking structure and $35 million to renovate the existing Don Barnett Arena.

The $180 million proposal is potentially the biggest public works project in city history.

However, the extent of changes and the costs are not final.

The five-member civic center board on Thursday, July 3, unanimously endorsed the Blue Concept. That vote authorizes project architects and engineers to present the plan to the Rapid City Council on Monday. What if any action the council may take will follow additional studies.

"Actually, at Monday's meeting, it's a presentation only for the benefit of the council. There won't be any official action taken at that meeting," civic center board President Jeff Bailie said.

There is no timetable on civic center changes.

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