LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau is starting the search for architects to help improve the Robinson Center.
The Arkansas Symphony uses the music hall more than any other organization, which makes improving the acoustics the center's main priority.
"You want to feel the rumble in the base of your seat," says Symphony Music Director Philip Mann.
As CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, Gretchen Hall says they want to completely redesign and expand the Robinson Center.
"The capacity is 2600 and we are looking at losing a few hundred seats in this, but it will enhance the seats and will bring seats further in the back closer to the stage," says Hall.
The renovations will provide a more intimate feeling. Hall says the 75-year-old facility needs better lighting, more storage, updated restrooms, and a bigger lobby.
"It's a beautiful lobby. It's very small. We're looking at expanding that," says Hall.
While searching for the right architects to provide new designs, the iconic facade should remain relatively the same.
The hope is that beautifying the interior and enhancing the acoustics will help the symphony, but also other performances like the ballet, comedy and opera.
"(It will) give a new experience for all listeners of orchestral music in Central Arkansas," says Mann.
Architects have until November 2 to submit their bids to the Visitors Bureau, which wants to stay within a budget of $52 to $65 million.
Renovation is tentatively scheduled to begin in June 2014 and it would close the facility for two years. The orchestra is still looking for venues to perform at during that time.