Officials Seek Cause of $200K in Damage to Bismarck Event Center

June 26, 2015

Severe thunderstorms late last week caused about $200,000 of damage at the newly expanded Bismarck Event Center.

A lobby area was flooded by several inches of muddy rainwater, and excess water also damaged six wooden doors and some electrical boxes, Center Manager Charlie Jeske said. Necessary repairs included nearly $100,000 in new carpeting.

The City Commission approved money to cover the cost of repairs, though Commissioner Steve Marquardt inquired whether a design flaw in the $27 million expansion project might have led to the flooding problems, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

Jeske said he is awaiting a report from the architect who designed the facility’s expanded convention space.

Commissioner Josh Askvig said he thinks incomplete landscaping might have been a factor. Mud from a side hill eroded into a drainage area that otherwise would have kept storm water away from the building, he said.

“The side hill didn’t have the grass seed,” Askvig said. “That was supposed to be there a number of weeks ago. Not all of the storm water reduction measures were in place. They are in place now, but were not in place when this occurred.”

Commissioners were waiting for the architect’s report before deciding whether to pursue insurance money to cover the repairs.

The commission voted in March 2013 to use existing hospitality taxes to fund the $27 million expansion after city voters rejected increasing the taxes for a larger, $90 million project in November 2012. Construction began in July 2013.

As part of the expansion, the commission last September approved changing the name of what had previously been the Bismarck Civic Center.

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