Firms Hired To 'Re-Invent' Rupp, Lexington Center
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Seattle-based architectural firm that oversaw the remodeling of UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and the construction company behind the Barclays Center in Brooklyn have been tapped by Lexington officials to spearhead the re-invention of Rupp Arena.
Mayor Jim Gray and Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday that architectural firm NBBJ will design and Hunt Construction Group will build the new facility. Lexington Center Corporation Board chair Brent Rice says a committee considered four architectural firms and five construction companies before making the final recommendation.
"We had teams that designed the most iconic venues in sports across the world, but what made the difference is we sensed their desire and their passion to be a part of this project and at the end of the day that's why they were selected," Rice says.
Hunt Construction helped construct the original Rupp Arena in 1976.
Mayor Gray says he envisions the re-imagined arena as the anchor of a proposed 46-acre arts and entertainment district. What’s less clear is how the city will finance the projects. Frank Butler, director of the Rupp District Project, says the Lexington Center board could hear a plan by August.