**UPDATE** Rapides Coliseum Renovations - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

**UPDATE** Rapides Coliseum Renovations

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RAPIDES PARISH, La. - Plans for renovations at the Rapides Parish Coliseum have been approved by the police jury.

Their decision was reached during a meeting earlier this afternoon.

After a two weeks of seeing plans from two different architecture firms, the Rapides Parish Police Jury took a vote.

And the winner is... Barron Heinberg & Brocato Architects and Engineers.

The chosen plans for the Coliseum include completely rebuilding the Exhibition Hall and connecting it to the main arena with a three-story lobby. This lobby would also serve as a gallery and meeting space.

And we all know parking is another big issue at the coliseum. BH&B's plan would double the number of parking spaces, up to 2500 spaces, and eliminate the need for parking along Highway 28.

A larger marquee by the highway and a new east entrance are also included in the plan.

BH&B architects say the goal is to keep Alexandria's entertainment business thriving.

Jay Lynch, BH&B: "In a regional sense, a lot of folks won't have to travel to Baton rouge or New Orleans or to Shreveport to see good shows and to see excellent entertainment. They can see it right here with the new arena and exhibition center."

Rapides Parish voters will decide on whether to approve the renovations in a bond issue that will be on the November ballot.

BH&B estimates their design would cost 21 million dollars, which would be covered by that bond issue.

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