Robinson Center plans revealed | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Robinson Center plans revealed

Posted By on Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Level 2 floor plan
  • Level 2 floor plan

Conceptual plans for a "radical" $64.5 million upgrade of the Robinson Center — one that would include an expanded lobby, stage, loading dock, acoustical improvements and new dressing rooms — were presented this morning to the Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission, which hopes to raise the money needed for the work for a summer 2014 construction start date.

SCM Architects principal Mike Steelman the plans, which also include a ballroom, upgraded meeting spaces and "a modern office complex," according to press release from the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Gretchen Hall, LRCVB director, said the highway department's Broadway Bridge project accelerated plans for the convention center; work on the two projects will coincide, rather than create a super nightmare of construction downtown. The Robinson Center upgrades should take two years.

Hall said the LRCVB is looking at all forms of financing, including private and using hamburger tax revenues to fund a bond issue once its current bonds on the convention center's expansion beneath the Peabody Hotel are paid off in 2014. She said the project's next phase will be to distribute a request for proposals from architectural and construction firms. The cost estimate of $64,572,934 does not include architectural or bond counsel fees. It's too soon to say an increase in the existing two-center tax will be necessary. No money was provided for the facility in the recent city sales tax increase.

Hall said the exterior of the 1939 building is sound, but many upgrades need to be made on the inside, which still includes some of the mechanics of the original building. The building is not well equipped to handle the needs of the handicapped, she noted.

The plan calls for lowering the floor of the music hall and reducing seating by about 300, to 2,300. But seats will be closer to the stage, including a true mezzanine and balcony that will bring people closer to the action. A major improvement will allow street level loading and unloading for road shows and off Broadway, to reduce traffic problems. Lifts will take equipment up to the stage, which will have more backstage room including stage-level dressing rooms.

A "concept team" was appointed by the board in October last year. Besides SCM Architects, it includes WD&D Architects; Shuler Shook Theatre Planners; Jaffe-Holden Acoustical Consultants; TME Inc. Mechanical and Electrical Engineers; ECI Inc. Structural Engineers; McClelland Consulting Engineers Inc. Civil Engineers; East Harding Construction; HVS Consulting and Hunt Construction Group. Representatives from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Celebrity Attractions and the Doubletree Hotel also participated in the planning.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation