Mayor, Governor announce selection of architect for Rupp, convention center

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Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Rupp Arena's reinvention and the design of the new convention center in Lexington, Kentucky are making major progress.

On Wednesday, Governor Steve Beshear, Mayor Jim Gray and the Lexington Center announced internationally acclaimed architects NBBJ will spearhead the project with Hunt Construction Group hired to make the plan reality.

"The decisions announced today represent a significant step forward in the reinvention of Rupp Arena and the downtown business district, which will strengthen the area's ability to attract tourism, investment and jobs," said Gov. Beshear.  "To compete successfully, Lexington, like any progressive business, must build its brand by leveraging its assets and making investments - and Rupp Arena is a key part of that plan."

The Lexington Center Board voted Wednesday morning to hire the two companies.

The reinvented area will feature expanded concourses, chair-back seats throughout, suites and a new scoreboard. Rupp will remain the nation's largest college basketball arena. NBBJ will partner with local architects EOP.

As for Lexington Center's convention space, it will be expanded to at least 100,000 square feet, doubling the space for exhibitions, while adding a new ballroom and more meeting rooms.

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