Rapid City, S.D., is eyeing a big bill to bring the city’s Don Barnett Arena into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Nearly $38 million in improvements are needed at the 10,000-capacity building, according to a new report from the board of directors that oversees the venue.
The report calls for new construction on the east and west sides of the building to house restrooms, concessions and ADA-accessible seating, the local Rapid City Journal reported, as well as new elevators to transport wheelchair-bound patrons.
“It’s not allowable to thumb your nose at federal law,” GM Brian Maliske told the paper. “You have to be code-compliant. We are a public facility. When you have 8,000 people here, it’s different than when you have eight relatives at your house.”
The Justice Department is reportedly examining the Barnett Arena after a claim stating the venue is out of ADA compliance was filed last year.
Representatives for architectural firm FourFront Design, which drew up plans for the improvements, told the paper the venue could remain open while renovations took place over a five-year period. If the building was shut down, a revamp could take at least two years.
The board proposed a plan last year to spend $150 million to build a new 15,000- to 18,000-capacity arena to replace the Barnett and two parking garages.