Stakes are High in $68M Renovation of Robinson Center

by Jan Cottingham  on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 12:00 am  

  • The conference center will also be upgraded, an upgrade that includes a new grand ballroom that opens the north wall of the center to the river with floor-to-ceiling windows.
  • Expanded lobbies and public spaces.
  • And what are called “back of house” improvements, including greater loading capacity and larger staging areas for performers and sets.

Ultimately, Porter said, the Robinson renovation has five goals:

1. Improve the performance hall from an acoustical and theatrical perspective.

2. Improve the patron experience. This includes the lobby improvements and accessibility on the west side of the building.

3. Improve the functionality of the back of house facilities.

4. Upgrade all the mechanical and electrical systems.

5. Improve the conference center.

The Clinton Center, which opened 10 years ago, presented problems too, and no one would now argue that it’s not highly successful. It’s hosted millions of visitors and the building itself won the 2006 Institute Honor Award for Architecture from the American Institute of Architects.

The new Robinson Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. The renovation “is a once-in-a-career project,” Porter said. “For us, it’s a landmark project in our career and we’ve had a lot of wonderful projects.”

Robinson Renovation Participants
Little Rock Firms

  • Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects
  • Engineering Consultants, Structural Engineers
  • TME Inc., Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineers
  • McClelland Engineers, Civil Engineers
  • Landscape Architecture Inc., Landscape Design

Other Design Team Partners

  • Ennead Architects, New York, Architectural Design
  • Jaffe Holden, Acoustical Design, Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Schuler Shook, Theatrical Design, Dallas



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