City Council On Mission To Get To Bottom Of Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Panels

Request For Proposals For Independent Contractor Sent Out Wednesday

The Sioux Falls City Council is on a mission to get to the bottom of the flawed metal panels on the outside of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. They’re looking for an independent contractor to find out if the panels are actually doing their job. The request for proposals went out Wednesday.

From the beginning, people have questioned how it looks.

Sioux Falls City Council Member Greg Neitzert said, “We have a responsibility as City Council members to make sure the taxpayers’ biggest asset in this city is protected.”

But Neitzert says the City Council wants to go beyond cosmetics with the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

“We need to get behind those panels and take a look,” said Neitzert.

The council wants to hire a contractor to make sure the panels on the outside are protecting the inside. Given the past, they want to make sure the process is trusted and the public can believe in the results. He says the contractor wouldn’t have any ties to the city.

“When people don’t have the information, they usually jump to the wrong conclusion,” said Neitzert. “I think, had it been more open, we wouldn’t be here today.”

The RFP comes after the city settled with five construction companies in 2015 surrounding the flawed panels. The administration wouldn’t release the settlement documents until they were forced by the South Dakota Supreme Court.

Neitzert said, “You have five different parties all kind of pointing fingers at each other, and so some things you may never know, but really what’s most important is finding out that the building is protected.”

Neitzert says just a visual inspection was completed on the PREMIER Center, which was around $5,000. This inspection would likely cost much more.

“To me, if it costs $50,000 to ensure that we don’t have a million dollar problem behind the building, it’s well worth the money. This is insurance,” Neitzert said.

Neitzert says the city has $2 million left in the ‘events center building fund’ that they can use. Contractors have until Nov. 7 to get the proposals in. The study must be complete by the end of the year.

Neitzet said, “If it is purely cosmetic, we don’t have a choice, we just have to move on, because it would be far too expensive to replace it with another panel.”

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