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June 06, 2018 06:08 PM

Rapid City Voters Approve New Arena

Voters in Rapid City approved the construction of a new civic center arena in Tuesday's  voting.  

It was close to midnight when supporters of the new arena finally felt confident enough to celebrate a win.

 As more votes came in to approve the project, former Mayor Jim Shaw explained why he and three other mayors took a stand against it. 

"Our message to the voters was simple: you can save a hundred million dollars with our so-called Plan C.   You can modernize and expand the Civic Center Arena; the current arena.  Have everything the civic center wants, plus you re-use the arena. You don't mothball it,"  said Shaw. 

But the voters' decision was for a new building. Wednesday current mayor Steve Allender laid out the timeline of what comes next.  

"Well there's going to be a lot of design work.  Everything you see in the way of plans and designs: those are important for cost estimation but they don't give the team what they need to actually build the building, so there's a lot of design work now that will go into effect.  And that takes a long time.  We expect it to take another eight or nine months," said Allender. 

Once the planning and design is completed, actual construction will get underway.  The mayor estimates that should happen some time early next year.  After that, it could take about two years before the new arena can open its doors.

"We'll stick a shovel in the ground at some point and have a little ribbon cutting and then almost a couple of years later we'll be opening the doors and letting people in here," said Allender. 

The mayor reminded voters the construction phase may seem, for awhile, like a permanent fixture, but it will get done.

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  • Rapid City, SD

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