Public Reacts To Rupp Arena Renovation Plans

Reported by: Ellen Bryan
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Updated: 9/18/2013 11:29 pm

NBBJ Architects revealed their design strategy for Rupp Arena to the public Thursday night. It was part of a public forum, where the community gave their feedback on the design plans.

As of now, the firm said they want to reveal more of Rupp Arena. They called the arena “building locked,” meaning you don’t see Rupp because of all the other buildings built up around it.

Part of their plans including removing portions of the Lexington Convention Center and mall to let Rupp stand on its own.

Lexington Center Board Chair Brent Rice said tonight’s forum was a great opportunity for the public to ask questions and make suggestions.

“It sounds like they're very interested what people here think and what they want to see happen,” Lexington resident Van Meter Pettit said. “So it's a nice combination. Talent and input from locals.”

But not everyone agrees.

“The whole idea of wasting this kind of money in Lexington at this point is ludicrous, it's horrendous,” Don Pratt said.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said a public project like this one evokes many different public opinions.

“Any time you engage a building project,” Gray said. “The thinking is and the challenge is you're embracing change.”

UK President Eli Capilouto said they are working closely with the city on Rupp Arena renovations.

“We love a big vision and a great dream. We just have to find way to finance these things,” Capilouto said. “It's a challenge we have on our campus. We have over a billion dollars of deferred construction needs. That's going to be important to us as well.”

The city set up the http://ruppdistrict.com/ website to follow the Rupp Arena renovation process.

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Jamie - 2/11/2014 10:11 PM
0 Votes
Absolutely love the design! About time they make this city look more modern and do something to make it more organized with that area. This state is all about their Wildcats and it's perfect and very updated. Now we can get some better events and concerts here. Plus they are bringing up Town Branch and making that ugly parking lot a park. Fourth of July celebrations will be so much better with a lovely park for fireworks celebrations! Can't wait!

DonPratt - 9/20/2013 6:09 PM
0 Votes
Thank you for allowing some comments in opposition. The truth is all public comment has been MANIPULATED just like it was at this presentation. Every public presentation has been loaded with people ("suit") who benefit substantially from such financial waste. Each presentation has not had much if any comment AT ALL! They bring these PAID presenters, including architects, and exhaust people at meetings with false images and glorious words of bright buildings/structures and green spaces with happy, smiling faces. This is FRAUD! By the time the meeting is over they either allow no public comment or, like this night's presentation, divide the group of potential critics, even citizens with suggestions up or OUT of the place. I have heard and seen MANY suggestions far cheaper and far more creative than these BIG SPENDERS! Even the smiling Mayor Gray misrepresents this project calling it "Arts District" then immediately appeals to the dumb down interest of sports fans. The words they, including Gray, use selectively should be analyzed. It is a big spending, big profit/payola project to give Rupp a "Yummy look." Destruction of an ongoing, currently successful Civic Center and its profitable convention center shops plus meeting rooms is insane. Rebuilding with some separate shopping facilities and new meeting rooms for conventions is impractical with many, if not most, visitors coming from the hotels meaning they will have to go outside… in bad weather? The Town Branch park/"commons" is fluff with very EXPENSIVE parking garages becoming necessary. Let's have viewers share their thoughts in a public seen as well as available places to allow exchange and education NOT BRAINWASHING or PR campaigns. I will offer more ideas in what should be a debate not to WASTE $350 million of taxpayers, citizens or consumers money. Investigate, learn, teach and produce better things for Lexington, UK, visitors and even sports fans. Thanks 36 news!
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