Pierre, S.D. –The citizens of Pierre will decide whether or not the City of Pierre will build a new Recreation and Event Center. In a 5-0 vote, City Commissioners took action tonight to put the issue on the November ballot.
“All along, we have worked hard to engage public sentiment on this decision,” said Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill. “Calling for a public vote is the ultimate gauge of public opinion. If the project truly has the support of the public, we’ll build it.”
Still to be determined is whether or not the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area and the Discovery Center will be part of the November vote. The organizations have approached the City Commission about relocating to the rec and event center if the project goes forward. Inclusion of the Boys and Girls Club and the Discovery Center will most likely have a considerable financial impact, but the specific cost hasn’t yet been identified.
“We are open to partnering with the Boys and Girls Club and the Discovery Center,” said Mayor Gill. “But until we know specifically what they are asking for, how much that will cost, and the result of local fund raising efforts we don’t know if it’s feasible.”
Consequently, the Commission has asked the Boys and Girls Club and the Discovery Center to work with city staff to finalize space needs, review estimated costs and present that information to the Commission on or before the August 2, 2016 meeting. At that time, the commission will consider the affordability of additional space for the Boys and Girls Club and the Discovery Center.
“To make this work, we know the Boys and Girls Club and the Discovery Center will have to make a significant financial contribution to the effort,” said Mayor Gill. “What remains to be seen is how much the addition would cost and how much of it they can fund.”
If the Commission believes the Boys and Girls Club and the Discovery Center addition to be financially feasible, it will be part of the November ballot proposal.
The current recreation and event center proposal, excluding the Boys and Girls Club and the Discovery Center addition, is for a 57,000 square foot multi-use facility that would cost $14.5-million to build. If the voters approve the proposal in November, construction could begin as early as 2017, and the facility could open for business as soon as 2019.