River Center expansion in Baton Rouge
There are plans to expand the Baton Rouge River Center, despite a bond proposal that failed in November.
Voters turned down the proposal, which included millions of dollars worth of improvements to the River Center.
Even before the vote, city leaders were working to secure money to do some of the work. They have been able to tap into $19 million to expand part of the facility. Most of that is state money that was already earmarked for River Center improvements. The other part is local money that was set aside three years ago for the project.
There are plans to build a new addition that will include more meeting rooms and an event lounge. Plans also call for revamping the entrance facing St. Louis Street, including building a new circular driveway for valet service. Since that entrance is closest to the parking garages, it will become the new main entrance for patrons.
River Center officials said the expansion would allow them to bring more conventions to the city. Right now, Baton Rouge is losing out on booking groups because the River Center does not have adequate space.
Construction on the new addition would be finished by October 2011.