Construction moves forward USD athletic facilities

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015

The area around, and now inside, the DakotaDome is beginning to look more and more like a construction site.

And that's exactly the way those at the University of South Dakota would prefer it.

Even if means having to work around the activity from machines, according to athletic director David Herbster.

"This is going to be part of the inconvenience of progress," Herbster said during an interview with the Yankton Press and Dakotan ( ).

Work has already begun on the exterior of the upcoming 6,000-seat basketball/volleyball arena, and academic lab connector, to the south of the DakotaDome, to build footings and retaining walls.

Construction crews then moved inside this week to work on the south wall.

The idea is simple: Work your way up and then back, and eventually an arena will start to take shape.

"You don't see a lot of the work going on in the arena," Herbster said. "Right now, it just seems slow.

"This is where that attention to detail and doing these steps right is critical."

The latest example is the staging work that started this week on the south wall of the dome. Crews began tearing down the cinder block wall to eventually construct a support structure that will carry the load when work begins to connect the arena.

That process will continue into the summer and the area should be sealed up before the football season in August, Herbster said.

Certain obstacles will be unavoidable, including two lanes of the indoor track which will be unavailable, except for home track meets.

Such conflicts were factored into the construction schedule, Herbster said.

"Luckily we don't have so many (conflicts) that it's going to be problematic," he added.

The same group of contractors will then move over to the outdoor track/soccer complex as soon as they finish in late March or early April (of course depending on the weather).

Work on the third piece to the construction process, the track/soccer complex, has already begun, despite that project coming in $1.5 million over budget, Herbster said.

The only immediate change to that project is that a center facility between the track and two soccer fields is out for now, Herbster said - it would have housed concessions and restrooms, among other things.

"The functionality of it doesn't go away at all," he said. "The primary concern for us in those areas, we needed to get them built.

"Fundraising for that will have to improve to get those things on line."

The track/soccer complex is scheduled to be turned over to USD this fall and the arena is scheduled for completion in summer 2016, Herbster said.



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