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


The $68.6 million project to renovate Robinson Center Music Hall wil increase the building's size to 138,000 SF from 133,500 SF.
The $68.6 million project to renovate Robinson Center Music Hall wil increase the building's size to 138,000 SF from 133,500 SF.
An artist's view of the new performance hall, which will be lowered to overtake the existing conference rooms. Architects said the redesign will improve acoustics, improve visibility and create a more intimate atmosphere.
An artist's view of the new performance hall, which will be lowered to overtake the existing conference rooms. Architects said the redesign will improve acoustics, improve visibility and create a more intimate atmosphere.
A cutaway of plans for the new auditorium, including a new box office, lobby levels and a lowered performance space.
A cutaway of plans for the new auditorium, including a new box office, lobby levels and a lowered performance space.
An artist's view of the new performance hall lobby.
An artist's view of the new performance hall lobby.
An artist's rendering of the inside of the grand balloon on the center's north side, overlooking the Arkansas River and the new river bridge.
An artist's rendering of the inside of the grand balloon on the center's north side, overlooking the Arkansas River and the new river bridge.
A look at how crowds would circulate through the renovated space, compared to the building's current entrances and exits.
A look at how crowds would circulate through the renovated space, compared to the building's current entrances and exits.
A view of the new conference center portion of the renovation, which includes a grand ballroom overlooking the Arkansas River.
A view of the new conference center portion of the renovation, which includes a grand ballroom overlooking the Arkansas River.

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."