UK Men's Basketball

Public to get a chance to comment on Rupp Arena, Town Branch projects

A public meeting has been set for Wednesday to discuss plans for Rupp Arena and Town Branch Commons.

Residents will be able to talk to architects working on the reinvention of Rupp Arena and to weigh in on plans for Town Branch Commons, a new park to run through downtown Lexington.

Robert Mankin of NBBJ, the lead architect working on Rupp and a new convention center, and Kate Orff from Scape/Landscape Architecture, winners of an international competition to design Town Branch Commons, will offer brief presentations, and then they will listen to suggestions, according to a news release from Mayor Jim Gray's office.

"We need to hear from the public as we begin making important decisions about Rupp and our downtown," Gray said in the news release.

In July, Lexington Center officials hired NBBJ to reinvent Rupp and design a new convention center. The selection of Scape was announced in February.

"There is no specific design for Rupp yet," Gray said in the news release. "That makes this the perfect time to hear from the public."

Previous NBBJ projects include Pauley Pavilion at UCLA, the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Hangzhou Olympic Stadium in China.

Orff's design for Town Branch Commons integrates history, geology and development into a thread of new public spaces along the path of Town Branch as it weaves through downtown.

The firm envisions Town Branch Commons as a network of pools, fountains, rain gardens, pocket parks and marshes. Much of Town Branch is buried under Vine Street.

Under the plan, officials said in February, the creek would surface behind Triangle Park and flow through what is now the Cox Street parking lot on the west side of Rupp Arena. that area would be converted into a large greenspace and would tie in to the creek, which now flows in its natural state at the edge of the parking lot.

The public meeting will focus on the proposed Town Branch Park, behind Rupp Arena, and how it relates to plans for Rupp Arena, the news release said.

If you go

Public Meeting about Rupp Arena and Town Branch Commons plans

When: 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Kentucky Theatre, 214 East Main Street.

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