PAve General Manager Shares Excitement For Reopening Date
"Its been a roller coaster of emotions"
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A building collapse in downtown Sioux Falls in December left the community shaken up.
A life was lost, and many businesses closed their doors for weeks because of the damage.
The one closest to the collapse has been shut down for over two months.
But soon, that’s changing.
Even though bricks, sandbags and orange cones surround the downtown restaurant and bar, PAve, General Manager John Geiken says they are closer than ever to reopening.
“February 24th is what we’re looking like,” says Geiken.
But he says the journey to this moment hasn’t been easy.
“Its been a roller coaster of emotions.”
For the past two months workers have been repairing PAve.
The December 2nd collapse damaged the building housing the popular downtown bar.
Including creating this hole in the second-level wall.
“We had a real concern about the structural security of that wall when the building went down,” says Chief Building Service’s official Ron Bell.
Bell says construction crews patched up the hole and reinforced the wall with more material, which you can see in yellow.
“Based on the fact that that previous wall was an interior wall so they had to protect that with the elements,” explains Bell.
Crews also repaired the second floor.
Inspectors say the building is now secure.
“That was our biggest objective was safety and we weren’t going to move forward until we knew it was safe,” says Geiken.
Though PAve will move forward, just looking at the building brings up intense feelings for the general manager.
“It kind of sends you back to all those emotions,” says Geiken. “This is something that you can never plan for. It’s something that you have to do your best to get through it and try and get back on your feet.”
Geiken says he’s counting down the days to when he can open these doors, instead of having to keep them locked.
“We’re ready to see everyone again, you know see familiar faces and have fun again.”
Even though Pave has been closed for the past two months, Geiken says they have been able to pay their 50 plus- member staff, thanks to fundraisers and insurance money.
He says that was important to him, to make sure his staff wouldn’t have to go without a paycheck while crews were working on the repairs.
Before PAve can reopen the fire department needs to check alarm and sprinkler systems, and the health department has to inspect the kitchen.