In a flashback to 2014-2015, the Rapid City Council will decide what to do with the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, but the final say may go to the voters. While the plan to build a new facility sounds similar to the 2014 proposal to refurbish and expand the Barnett Arena, in the Rapid City Journal Mayor Allender insists that this new plan is not just a repackaged version. The city council will have to decide whether to bring the Barnett Arena into compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and building codes or approve building a new, modern facility. Fixing the existing arena is cheaper, at about $25 million versus the $180 million cost of building new. However, a new building might be able to attract new shows, increasing revenue for the Civic Center and for the city with more visitors. Whatever decision the council makes, it could still lead to a referendum election as with the 2014 plan. With the deadline for ADA fixes looming, a decision will have to be made.
Past stories on the Civic Center are linked in the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.