Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

I told you so? One of the main reasons why the indoor aquatic center was built in a bad location

We said it during the campaign, the location will cause issues with expansion (of the pool) and parking. And while I was not totally opposed to a public indoor pool (I think a partnership with Sanford at the sports complex would have been best) the parking situation is going to get very, very interesting;

Construction of the Primary Care addition on the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Sioux Falls is nearly complete, and expected to be open in October. However, other phases of the project are far from finished, and it’s affecting patient care.

“My biggest limiting factor for care, is space,” said VA Health Care System Director, Darwin Goodspeed.

The VA Hospital treats more than 27,000 patients in east river every year, and the number of patients continues to rise. So, the need to expand the current building for more care comes with a price tag of $20 million.

“We’re doing some expansion, specifically to add square footage to our clinical spaces so that we can have more space available to see more veterans – more patient care.”

You also have to factor in the ‘quit claim deed’. Will the VA eventually start chipping away at the green space of Spellerberg for more parking? This location spelled trouble from the beginning, not just because of parking issues and expansion but it is built on a heavily traveled two-lane arterial (Western Avenue), that I nicknamed years ago ‘the parade route’.

Let the parking wars begin.

Terrace Park, Parked, June, 29, 2016

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Watch the Director of Sioux Falls Parks announce a policy change on the Terrace Park destruction. All the neighbors and community wanted was a voice in the process of saving the 100 year old park for future generations. The neighbors and friends of Terrace Park want the charm saved while making it safer to explore.

On June 29, 2016 our Cameraman Bruce found his way into the Old Commission Chamber of City Hall for this presser. Terrace park is the only park in Sioux Falls showing the beauty of the natural quartzite stone in the European tradition of stone laying paths, walls and steps. Why does every park have to look the same in Sioux Falls.

Why not move ahead with the allocated budget to repair the potentially dangerous steps while leaving the flat stone paths alone? This would be too easy and it would not look new? Why is concrete the only answer?

We can be glad this out of control project is going to be redone. It’s too bad we can’t get the pouty administration to consider the safety upgrades for now? Are they planning to make potential injury the reason to force the change?

It is also interesting the usual cast of destruction and mayhem are in the room doing the Huether headbob through this presser.

Won’t get pooled again

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This is what happens when you don’t play the city’s reindeer games


Improvements planned for this year at Terrace Park will not move forward in 2016. Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation will complete another planning process to ensure that any construction at the park will both improve accessibility and preserve the historical features of the park.

“We engaged the public at a very high level and for a number of years regarding this project, but we have not yet determined a solution that allows us to feel confident moving forward at this time,” says Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation. “Our next step will be to reengage the neighborhood and take another look at the master plan for the park. Any revisions to the master plan will be approved by the Board of Historic Preservation, the ADA Accessibility Review Board, and the Parks and Recreation Board.”

In 2014, Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation collaborated with the Terrace Park Neighborhood Association and the community on a master planning process to guide future development of the upper portion of Terrace Park. The goal of this project was to identify existing issues as well as potential opportunities within the park. Over a six-month process involving multiple public input sessions, a master plan was developed and was to serve as a road map for future construction of the park.

The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. Recently, the Board of Historic Preservation determined the construction plans would have an adverse effect on the historic property.

Construction of the master plan improvements were to be completed in multiple phases, with the first phase to construct a monument sign, accessible pathways, and a centennial marker recognizing the 100-year history of the park to take place in 2016. Those improvements will not take place this year. The master plan will be revisited, and design work now will take place in 2018 and 2019, with construction in 2020 and 2021.

This year’s construction contract will be canceled, and materials already purchased for the project will be used for other projects. To date, about $39,415 of the planned $176,250 project has been expended, but much of the work will be applicable when the master plan improvements are completed. The construction of the proposed master plan improvements in 2020 and 2021 will cost about $2 million.


Terrace Park Improvements to Be Discussed at Wednesday News Conference

What: News conference to provide an update regarding planned improvements at Terrace Park

When: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 11 a.m.

Where: City Hall Commission Room 224 West Ninth Street

Who: Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation

Why: Construction of master plan improvements at Terrace Park were to be completed in multiple phases, with the first phase to construct a monument sign, accessible pathways, and a centennial marker recognizing the 100-year history of the park to take place this year. Recently, the Board of Historic Preservation determined the construction plans would have an adverse effect on the historic property. Come to the news conference to learn more about the next steps for Terrace Park improvements.

UPDATE: Public Open House of Indoor Aquatic Center TODAY!

5:30 at Spellerberg Park, 26th & Western Avenue.

We went with our camera and were not allowed in because they claimed that SF Construction has control of the site, and we are NOT media. We got the excuses part on video. We will be posting soon.

Inn Indoor Pool 400

NOT the new Spellerberg Indoor pool.

Chair of the Sioux Falls Board of Historic Preservation writes a letter of clarification

Dixie Hieb lays out the job of the board, and what their decisions ultimately mean in reference to Terrace Park;

I have complete confidence that our City’s Parks Department and Confluence, the landscape architecture firm involved with the project, will develop a plan that both improves accessibility and protects the historic integrity of Terrace Park. I believe the planning and approval process is an opportunity to serve both of these goals, but characterizing the process as a battle between opposing groups serves only to undermine these goals. All of the parties involved care deeply about Terrace Park, and together we will find solutions that maintain the historical character of the park for generations to come.

I couldn’t agree more. This isn’t about fighting the city, this is about preserving our city. That takes transparency and cooperation.

Saturday Odds & Ends


• I found this picture on the Googles of Hattie Phillips home that used to sit on the top of Terrace Park until the city goons tore it down. As I understand it is the ONLY known existing photo of the residence. Hattie’s husband, Dr. Phillips founded Sioux Falls with RF Pettigrew.

• During the Sioux Falls city council informational meeting this next Tuesday, we will get an update on the RR relocation project, but don’t expect to hear any updates on rail traffic (DOC: RR-Yard )


• This is a nifty photo of where the Parks Department has it’s picnic table graveyard, Terrace Park.

• Here’s an interesting story about limiting or even eliminating public input;

A spate of recent outbursts and contentious exchanges has prompted the leader of the Oklahoma City School Board to consider eliminating public participation at meetings, The Oklahoman has learned.

Board Chairwoman Lynne Hardin said Thursday she also is considering whether to eliminate board member comment and plans to meet with the panel next month to discuss both options.

“To be squabbling over things that don’t add to the meeting, it’s not an effective use of our time,” she said.

The board’s next regular meeting is June 27. Hardin said she will consider whether to suspend both comment periods for that meeting, typically the longest of the year.

“If there’s ever a time not to get rid of public comment it’s right now because of what’s happened with charters, with (former Superintendent Rob) Neu,” said parent John Prough, a regular at board meetings. “This is a time where attendance is up and community involvement is up. They’re involved, and they want their voices heard.”

• The Sioux Falls city council is considering giving Forward Sioux Falls $400K (Item #56) for workforce development. Sometimes I think these programs are so dismal, it may be more effective just to give a group of people who are under employed the money instead.

I will leave you with a cool video from 1894.

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According to Edison film historian C. Musser, this film and others shot on the same day (see also Sioux ghost dance) featured Native American Indian dancers from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, and constitutes the American Indian’s first appearance before a motion picture camera.

United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., [1894]

Copyright: no reg.

Performers: Last Horse, Parts His Hair, Hair Coat.

Camera, William Heise.

Filmed September 24, 1894, in Edison’s Black Maria studio.

Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 126.

Received: 5-13-1994; viewing print; preservation; Hendricks (Gordon) Collection.

Should city employees be reprimanded or terminated when they cost taxpayers money?

I knew it wouldn’t take city hall even 24 hours to try to kill the messenger when it comes to the Terrace Park kerfuffle;

The contractor for the project, which had already purchased some materials and turned down other jobs, said the city would be getting a bill.

“I’m waiting for the final word on that if it is going be terminated,” said Aaron Niewald, project manager for Dakotaland Sod. “I had a contract and a notice of award from the city so I was working on submittals and getting project materials. Some of it I couldn’t stop, so there’s still going to be some cost to the city.”

First off, this isn’t the Historic Board or the residents fault. They were contacted very late in the game, in fact so late, the city had already scheduled the work before the board made it’s first decision last week. Secondly, work could still go ahead. There is a lot of other work to be done before even approaching the small area where the grade has to be made and entrance redesigned to save the pathway. By the time the contractor gets to that part in the project, the re-design could be redone. As mentioned in the meeting, it’s not rocket science, it’s building a grade and resetting a few stones. An experienced landscape designer could have knocked out a redesign last night.

But the bigger question is why is the city and contractor trying to blame the people who saved the pathway? The city employees are the ones that clearly screwed up this project by giving the green light to the contractor to order materials and start a timeline before bringing it to the Historic Board. Protocol wasn’t followed, and if this is normal protocol, something needs to change in the parks department, and a few heads need to roll instead of using the media to point fingers.

“After years of work on this project, the city team is certainly disappointed and surprised by the outcome of yesterday’s meeting. We will need to regroup, and more will be communicated in the weeks to come,” she said.

That’s what is often frustrating with city employees that are in charge of ‘planning’. They claim they have been working on a project for years, but wait until the last minute to get permission from those most important to the project, the taxpayers. This is done quite often. The Midco Aquatic Center is a prime example, and so is the RR relocation project (that probably won’t relocate any rail traffic). It’s irritating when city employees, especially directors think citizens are ‘getting in the way’ of progress. I’m all for progress, but I am all for doing things right and transparently. Sometimes that takes a little longer. Besides, this is a 100 year old park, what was the hurry to begin with?

Terrace Park plan gets nixed

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I attended the Historic Preservation Board meeting today (hope to have video up soon) in a very crowded conference room in the basement of city hall. Many citizens showed up to protest tearing out part of one of the historic quartzite paths. I basically testified that they needed to keep the entire path, because you don’t tear down half of a historic building and build new onto the demolished half. I also pointed out the EC had over 2,000 change orders, change orders are common in construction projects, and this one should be no different. In fact besides the designer from Confluence who is designing the changes, no one in the meeting was for tearing out the paths. The board agreed;

“You guys gotta start over,” said Tom Keller, one of seven board members who voted against the plan. “I want to make sure that it’s done right, in the best way possible, and I’m (not) going to go ahead with this until I see something that doesn’t harm that park a bit.”

Dixie Hieb, chairwoman of the city’s historic preservation board, said pushing the project around the park’s 100th birthday seemed counter productive.

“It seems a little inconsistent to celebrate the history of the park by removing … a bunch of historic features,” she said.

Of course now the Parks Department and city are threatening to pull the project for this year. Oh well. The park has been fine for 100 years, one more year of waiting won’t hurt a bit, I’m just saying.

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