Sioux Falls officials moved forward with a request for proposal, or RFP, for the architectual design and engineering of a new events center Friday.
The city's RFP includes a comparative analysis between the site at the Sioux Falls Arena, and an events center site downtown. The analysis will include a comparison of infrastructure, site availability and parking. It doesn't include an economic study, like supporters of a downtown events center want, but city officials say these other details have to be hammered out first before they can do an economic study.
City officials hope the ten page document will push the plans for a new events center forward. The RFP outlines all the details they want to cover when the facility is being designed.
"We've required them to team with a local architect and a local civil engineering firm to make sure that they have a strong local tie to our community. So, we are excited to finally take this step forward," Sioux Falls Public Works Director Mark Cotter said.
The first phase of the RFP calls for a comparison between a downtown events center versus the planned location at the current Sioux Falls Arena. Cotter says those details will give consultants a better idea about the facility before an economic analysis can happen.
"And, so our goal here is to remove some of those assumptions so that when the economic experts look at both sites there's just many less assumptions that they have to make," Cotter said.
And that's why city officials say that picking a design team is one of the most important first steps for this massive events center project.
"Actually getting the architects on board that's key, and getting them on board that have worked with government entitities, and built similar size facilities in similar markets, it's just a key step forward to having a successful project end," Cotter said.
The city hopes to pick a design team by the middle of December and start working on the design by the beginning of January.