LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) announced that the Robinson Center’s renovation, restoration and expansion has come to a close, and it will celebrate the facility’s “Second Act” (grand re-opening) with a 10 a.m. press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Governor Asa Hutchinson, Mayor Mark Stodola, Maestro Philip Mann of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ed Payton of Celebrity Attractions’ Broadway Theater Series and Miss Arkansas Savannah Skidmore. The press conference will be followed by tours of the new facility.
The official closing of the building took place on July 1, 2014, following the successful December, 2013 election to dedicate the existing 2% advertising and promotion tax to fund the project. After a 28-month-long renovation, this project will open on-time and on-budget – quite an accomplishment for any project of this size – especially one as complex as the Robinson Center.
“When working on a construction project of this magnitude, with many unknown variables regarding the structural integrity of a 76-year-old building, we are exceedingly grateful that we did not encounter significant unforeseen conditions, and very indebted to the team of architects, engineers and construction professionals that have worked on this project,” said LRCVB President and CEO, Gretchen Hall. “We could not have done this without our incredible project team led by Ennead Architects of New York, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects of Little Rock and CDI/Hunt Joint Venture that served as our General Contractor and Construction Manager.”
Robinson Center Reimagined: Project Highlights:
- The project’s design takes advantage of the building’s unique site overlooking the Arkansas River.
- The exterior envelope of the original building has been restored and is now visible in multiple areas inside the new conference center addition.
- The facility will reopen as a LEED-certified structure.
- Performance Hall improvements: more acoustic volume, improved sight lines for all patrons, increased lobby spaces and restroom facilities, ADA accessibility, and new box seating along the side walls, creating a much more intimate feel to the hall.
- Complete reorganization of the back of house support areas include: increased loading capacity, all new electrical and mechanical systems, improved and enhanced staging and lighting systems, and increased dressing and chorus room capacity, on stage level.