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December 16, 2012 09:54 PM

PREMIER Progress

Sioux Falls, SD

A towering sign of progress will inject itself into the Sioux Falls skyline this week.

A large crane is scheduled to be erected at the site of the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. It's the latest step in the construction of the $115 million facility.

A viewing platform on top of the Sioux Falls Convention Center offers a clear view of the work that has already been done on the largest project in Sioux Falls' city history.

"Center of the bowl is basically that clear patch of dirt where the pick ups are parked. That's basically center ice," project superintendent Brian Boe said from the top of the convention center.

After more than a decade of debate, the new Sioux Falls events center is finally taking shape. The foundation and footings for the 12,000 seat arena are nearly complete.

"Looking like toward the end of this month we should be done, complete, with the foundation work," Boe said.

A city website for the events center says the foundation should be done by February 1, so the project is ahead of schedule at this point.

City officials are happy with the progress on the building that is supposed to open in less than two years.

"It's not only real, it's going to happen in a flash. Fall of 2014 is right around the corner for us, so we're very excited," Sioux Falls special projects manager Kendra Siemonsma said.

The entire city will be able to see the next step in the construction.

During the next few weeks a large crane will be erected at the site of the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. It will stand 300 feet tall, more than two times the height of the light poles at nearby Howard Wood Field.

"The first bit of iron you're going to see is an erection crane for the steel structure will show up on Monday and crews will work through the next week assembling that crane. That crane is going to be a fairly large crane," Boe said.

"While we've been working for the last five months on this project, there will be a lot of activity.  And I think that the citizens now will really see that this project is really happening," Siemonsma said.

While the foundation is nearly done and the crane comes in next, the designs for what it will look like on the inside are still a work in progress.

"All the foundation is laid, which is important but at the end of the day people like you and I will really just see the finishes.  So we have a citizen group put together to really work through the aesthetic design of the building," Siemonsma said.

So, while there hasn't been much to see inside the construction zone barricades, the upward signs of PREMIER progress are not far away.

"Just hold tight it's coming," Boe said.

The entire building is scheduled to be enclosed by December 2013 then crews can start working on the inside of the new events center.

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