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Renovation planned for Kentucky hoops arena

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Rupp Arena's latest proposed makeover will make it a stand-alone facility that state and local officials hope will reinvent downtown.

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Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Mayor Jim Gray and officials from Lexington Center on Wednesday announced a renovation plan that will separate the 37-year-old home of Kentucky men's basketball from the adjoining convention center, which will be expanded 100,000 square feet. Lexington Center Board chairman Brent Rice said a funding plan will be finalized within 45 days.

Rupp's 23,500-seat capacity will remain but adds chair-back seats to the upper deck, expanded concourses and a new center-hanging scoreboard.

Seattle-based NBBJ is the architect while Hunt Construction Group of Indianapolis will handle renovation of the facility it originally built.

The project is expected to take two years to complete with groundbreaking scheduled for fall 2014.

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