Clearing Up Confusion on PREMIER Center Panels

Clearing Up Confusion on PREMIER Center Panels

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — When the PREMIER Center was first built, some thought it was part of the design, but the siding on the building wasn’t supposed to be wavy, it was designed to be flat.

The Sioux Falls City Council is clearing up confusion about the siding on the more than 100-million dollar building. The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center was built about 4 years ago, and the buckled siding has been a topic of discussion ever since.

Last month independent inspection firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, based out of Chicago, reviewed the facility. They say the siding is structurally sound. The panels are just flat boards on a curved wall.

This week, they were back in town to answer city council’s questions about their report. Council member Greg Neitzert says for the most part SGH validated what they already knew, but he still has concerns.

“Who signed off on it and why?,” says Neitzert, “Why did we put flat panels on a curved building, and that’s a question we still want answered.”

It’s up to city administration to release information on who okayed the panels. Another issue that hasn’t been resolved, deals with the original draft of the firm’s report, which was sent to city administration.

The city denied Neitzert and council member Theresa Stehly’s request to see that draft.

“Now at this time in our city when we have questions about secrecy and things being done under the table we need to be showing the public everything,” says Stehly.

Neitzert pressed the firm asking if anything embarrassing was taken out of the draft at the city’s request. The company says no.

So what’s next for the premier center?

“We’re kind of stuck in the issue of do we just live with it. I compare it to hail damage on a car. Do you live with it or do you replace it, and that’s a very tough question because it would be very expensive to replace those panels,” says Neitzert.

The inspection firm says the panels will last at least 30 years. They recommend checking every 10 years for cracks in the metal.

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