Rupp project suspended

06/18/2014 03:29 PM

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray today suspended work on the project to build a new convention center and significantly upgrade Rupp Arena. This comes after UK withdrew its support for the proposed annual $10.7 million lease at Rupp. That increased lease payment would have kicked in beginning in 2018.

In a statement released today Mayor Gray said ““We designed this arena based on what UK said they needed. But I understand timing and pacing are everything, especially with major projects like this. So we’ll adjust and adapt.”

Although Gray and Governor Steve Beshear also discussed coming up with a smaller project that would include a ten to fifteen percent increase of the University’s original investment, they both support the orginal plan.

Governor Beshear said “I think the original project is still what Lexington and the University need, and in time, I hope UK will be ready to move forward.”

Gray said “The plan addressed the declining competitiveness of the arena and convention center.” He said timing is everything and that the improvements will eventually come together. “I’ve learned after 850 projects in my construction career, never to fall in love with a project. We need to move on. And when the time is right, the plan is ready,” Gray said. “It’s all about economic development and job growth.”

UK’s president’s office had no comment following the announcement.


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