Little Rock Leaders Start Tax Campaign to Pay for Robinson Renovation, Expansion

Little Rock city leaders on Tuesday planned to kick off a campaign asking citizens to dedicate an existing 2 percent advertising and promotion tax to help pay for a $68.6 million renovation and expansion project at Robinson Center Auditorium.

Mayor Mark Stodola, Restore Robinson Co-Chairs Capi Peck, Jim Dailey, Charles Stewart, and other city officials were scheduled to attend a 1 p.m. event on the steps of the auditorium.

The city has set a Dec. 10 election for citizens to vote whether to dedicate the existing tax to pay off a new bond addition that will help pay for project.

Details of the proposed renovation and additions to Little Rock's Robinson Center Auditorium were revealed Sept. 24 at a luncheon hosted at the center.

The project is set to be completed by 2016. The building's size will increase to 138,000 SF from 133,500 SF. Building designs are by Polk Stanley Wilcox of Little Rock and Ennead Architects LLP of New York City. Construction will be performed by CDI Contractors of Little Rock.

The work will include:

  • Restoring and renovating the existing 1939 exterior.
  • Re-working audience entrances.
  • Improving performance hall acoustics and seating.
  • Upgrading the loading area.
  • Building an entirely new conference center and grand hall on the north side of the structure.

"By voting for this initiative on Dec. 10 voters have the chance to restore Robinson into a state-of-the-art performance center," Stodola said. "This would not be a new tax, but an existing tax to back a new bond issue to renovate and expand Robinson."