Walton Arts Center officials say the planned renovation and expansion of its theater complex and headquarters on Dickson Street may cost as much as $23 million.
The project was originally expected to cost $20 million, but officials knew as the design went forward that the price tag would more than likely go over that. Fayetteville voters approved a bond issue to provide $6.9 million of the cost in November 2013, and the center is raising funds to cover the rest.
CDI Contractors, the Dillard’s Inc. subsidiary, was selected to do the construction of the project, which was designed by Boora Architects of Portland, Oregon. Because the project will use city money, the contractor bid had to go through a city selection process.
Terri Trotter, the COO of the center, said officials hope work starts this summer on the backstage area of the building. The city is building a parking garage adjacent to the backstage area so the initial work will be done by the garage contractor, Baldwin & Shell of Little Rock.
Trotter said the expansion and renovation work on the front lobby is scheduled to start in the summer of 2015. The theater is mostly in hiatus during the summer months so most of the construction is planned around the off time.
Trotter said the design plans are still being finalized, so the pricing is still not finalized either and though the total budget is $23 million, the project’s cost could come in below that.