UPDATE: I have been thinking about this for a few days. I have been trying to access the informational meeting on the city website, but no luck. The video died about a minute into the meeting when it was LIVE and they have not yet posted it to the website. Once again, SIRE isn’t working and no one at Carnegie or City Hall is doing anything about it. Go figure. Anyway, I did have a South DaCola foot soldier attend the meeting. Parks & Rec Mob Boss Don Kearney did a presentation on saving the Rec Center (I partially agree with him, but we will get to that in a moment). Of course the stuck-up IcePlex crew showed up and cried about competing with the new facility. This could be true, and they do have a point, the city kicked in $1.5 million to the new facility, and why would we want to continue to subsidize the old Rec Center?
I think there is a solution that can make everyone happy. Let’s say we close the Rec center. We have only a few options. Tear the whole place down and just sell the land. We could use it as a Parks garage. Or we could just sell the place ‘As Is’ with the ice and throw in the Zamboni. I like this idea the best, first off, it wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything to sell it ‘as is’, secondly we wouldn’t have to continue to subsidize it, either as ice OR as a garage. I would also put a condition on the sale that the place that buys it (Private health club or non-profit) can either remove the ice, tear the whole place down, or what I think would be the best use make it into a recreational ice facility, much like Caurosel Skate. Use the facility for strictly ice skating and curling, etc, but not ice hockey unless it is adult leagues.
One of the reasons the Ice Association wanted a new bigger facility is because they claim there isn’t enough inside ice, keeping the old Rec Center as a private ice facility won’t hurt their business. That’s like saying Wild Water West hurts the outdoor pool business in SF Parks. There is room for two ‘different’ kinds of ice facilities in Sioux Falls, and the taxpayers can be off the hook for once.
Images below are from Don’s presentation to the city council. Click to enlarge.