City votes to accept grant money for Rupp renovation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington's Urban County Council voted Thursday evening to accept $2.5 million dollars in state grant money to go toward the renovation of Rupp Arena. The plan is to redevelop Rupp and the surrounding area into an entertainment district.

"This allows us to move forward with the next level of planning. Our financial and business planning is under way today," said Mayor Jim Gray.

The acceptance of those funds also obligates the city to to match them with $2.5 million of its own, something one public commenter said would be a waste.

"I also think anybody tearing down a building that is younger than I am is rather wasteful," said the commenter.

As far as the big picture goes, Mayor Gray said it could be anywhere from one to three years before people start to see any changes here at Rupp Arena.

"If you're doing a project properly, if you're doing it the right way, not just right away, then you're going to define your scope and your costs first," said Gray.

Gray said this action will give the city a clear path to follow.

"Like a road map. The journey is the safest when the road map is the clearest and that's what we're working on today," said Gray.

Plans also extend to the area nearby the arena. Earlier this year, the city announced plans to create a new downtown park called Town Branch Commons.

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