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Rapid City Civic Center in need of improvements

RAPID CITY (AP) — The manager of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City says the 37-year-old facility needs $9 million for improvements, but board members who oversee the facility wonder where the money will come from.

The money is needed for hail damage repairs, elevator and escalator upgrades, new computers and security improvements, General Manager Brian Maliske told the Civic Center Advisory Board on Tuesday.

"These are things that have to be done either immediately or need to be done very, very soon," he said.

Civic center and city officials are trying to decide whether to spend $70 million to bring the facility's 9,400-seat Barnett Arena into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and building codes, or spend more than $100 million to build a new arena. The U.S. Justice Department has questioned why the facility doesn't comply with the ADA.

The Civic Center Advisory Board on Tuesday asked for a prioritized list of immediate center needs and recommendations on how to pay for the upgrades.

"It's not like the civic center is flush with money," board member Jeff Bailie said.

The 2014 budget for the center, which is supported by tax revenue and event revenue, is about $9 million, the amount of the needs outlined by Maliske.

Maliske said roof repairs are the top priority, and funding would come from center revenues and insurance.

"We have a $50,000 deductible, so we know for a fact that we're going to pay for the first $50,000," he said.

The hail damage might cost as much as $350,000, according to center officials.