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December 13, 2010 09:23 PM

Design Team To Pick Possible Events Center Sites

Sioux Falls, SD

The events center plans are on schedule, and now it's time to pick the site. 

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether introduced the architecture and engineering team to the city council Monday. Now it's their job to pick out a few potential sites for the events center. 

The architecture and engineering team is led by two firms. The first is Sink Combs Dethlefs from Denver, and the other is Koch Hazard Architects from Sioux Falls. Within the next 45 days the team will be in charge of not only analyzing the current arena-convention center site, but also identifying a few sites in downtown Sioux Falls. 

"We've been thinking about this really for five years about what could happen, where it could be located, what features it could have. We talked a lot about that in our interview to the committee," Don Dethlefs, CEO with Sink Combs Dethlefs design firm said.

Dethlefs' group was involved with studies in 1999 and 2005 that determined Sioux Falls needed to build a 12 thousand seat events center. Dethlefs says narrowing down building sites has been part of the process for several arenas they've designed. 

"When we did this in 2005 one of the basic conclusions was there's really two great sites already in Sioux Falls, the convention center and downtown. A lot of other cities we work in don't have that good of a site," Dethlefs said.

Dethlefs says his firm will hold public meetings and objectively analyze the arena-convention center site and several downtown sites. 

"Part of what we're going to do next is to listen to the community and see what they want. That will be crucial," Dethlefs said.

The 'Build It Downtown' group is pleased that the study is happening.

"I think they've done a good job of listening to the people of Sioux Falls to make sure that our options are explored fully and done by experts who know this business. And, that when we build this $100 million facility we're going to do this right," Steve Hildebrand with 'Build It Downtown' said.

And the architecture and engineering team is ready to tackle the challenge in the next 45 days. 

"To us there's maybe four or five potential sites downtown, but we really talked about that and hopefully narrow it down to one or two possibilities," Dethlefs said.

The city is also getting ready to pick a firm that will do a side-by-side economic analysis of an events center at the arena versus at one of the downtown sites. They hope to have all the studies done by the middle of April.

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