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Rapid City arena's design planning moves forward

RAPID CITY (AP) -- The planning and design of Rapid City's new $130 million arena are beginning to take shape. Craig Baltzer, executive director of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, told the Rapid City Journal that city planners are completing fin...

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RAPID CITY (AP) - The planning and design of Rapid City's new $130 million arena are beginning to take shape.

Craig Baltzer, executive director of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, told the Rapid City Journal that city planners are completing final vetting of the new entertainment arena's design options. The civic center's arena is expected to open in 2021.

"We're trying to get a design of the building so that we can get to a price before they start inking blueprints," Baltzer said.

Every design option, from the box office locations to the lobby size, needs to be vetted to reach an associated cost estimate in order to keep within the $130-million budget, he said. Once the city's construction manager determines cost estimates, project planners can then begin the architectural design phase.

Rapid City and Black Hills residents will soon have an opportunity to weigh in on the arena plans. The city has been accepting applications for two committees to offer input on arena operations and design issues.

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The operations committee will address issues such as public transit and how pedestrians will flow within the building. The design committee will focus on features such as interior finishes, lighting fixtures and the overall exterior design of the arena.

The goal is to invite "a diverse group of people that have a diverse set of experiences to weigh in on how it's going to work," he said.

Both committees will be comprised of between 10 and 12 people each. The groups will meet with city staff, as well as design, architectural and construction representatives.

"We want this building to be representative of not only Rapid City but of the Black Hills region," Baltzer said.

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