LEXINGTON, Ky. (9/19/13)—People interested in the renovation of Rupp Arena were encouraged to come to the Kentucky Theatre Wednesday night and offer input on the new look and the Town Branch development.
After showing pictures of Rupp Arena under construction in 1976, memories that people shared online of their times at Rupp Arena, and the history of the complex, representatives were stationed around the theatre for people to ask questions and see a model of what the new Rupp Arena Complex will look like.
“We are here today to listen and engage in your ideas,” said Mayor Jim Gray. “We want to embrace the past and its authentic history and really in an inspiring way let it pull us into the future.”
Representatives from Hunt Construction and MMBJ shared that they were not set out just to create a new arena but a place that will capture many more memories and special events. Gray spoke out about what the city of Lexington needed to embrace throughout this project.
“About 800 projects ago I learned that anytime you engage in building a project you need to embrace change, and we all know change is better accepted when it is understood,” said Mayor Gray. “A big part of what we are going through is to examine the current condition where we are as a city and what this project needs as a city.”
Construction is set to begin in Fall 2014 and everyone involved in the project listened openly to questions and concerns.
“A project like this embraces the future. Sometimes it’s tough and a little uncomfortable to acknowledge that we have some challenges to face,” said Mayor Gray. “But we believe we have engaged with the best of the best. We’ve made a great deal of progress but we still have a ways to go.”
Over 100 people attended the meeting to voice their opinions. Some people attended the forum to hear what the plans were. Many people are excited about what they saw, but others raised concerns about the $300 million price tag.
“This is what the forum was all about,” Mayor Gray said, “We want to know how people are feeling and we will continue to listen to their input and make changes.”
For those who weren't able to attend Wednesday night's meeting, a new website has been created to take public comments, ruppdistrict.com.
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