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October 03, 2011 09:53 PM

Council Approves Events Center Contracts


The Sioux Falls City Council entered into two contracts for the proposed events center Monday night. The decision puts another piece of the plan in place if Sioux Falls voters approve a new events center next month.


"It's an organized, well-thought-out process and I think you're on the right track and move forward with the project," Dick Strassburg with the Tegra Group said as he presented the plan. 

The council unanimously agreed seven votes to zero to enter into contracts with Mortenson Construction and Sink Combs Dethlefs architects as the city moves forward with the third phase of the events center planning. 

"Design development services, construction document services, building services, and construction services during period of the event center would be built," Jim Wiederrich with Woods, Full, Schultz, and Smith attorneys said.  

But entering into the contracts early does not mean they will automatically move forward. It all hinges on whether the public authorizes the $115 million building in November.

"You are not at risk of being obligated to pay the architect in the event the public vote is not there to support event center,' Wiederrich said.

Both presenters here say entering into the contracts early gives the city a possible financial advantage over the construction companies.

"You have none of the down side, all of the up side. I don't think you can get a contract in a better position as this one," said Wiederrich. 

Entering the contracts early may mean the city might not have to pay the full $115 million. According to Wiederrich, nearly $85 million is set for the building, but the total cost including alternatives and site work moves the price to just over $97 million. Contractor and architect fees make up the rest of the price.

"The right way to do this is when we've got the leverage on this side of the vote," said Strassburg.

And that vote gets closer each day. Absentee ballots are already being cast by voters. The special election is set for November 8.

Sink Combs Dethlefs Contract
Mortenson Contract
  • Sioux Falls, SD
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