Voters Approve Rapides Restore

The nearly 50-year-old Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, La., will get a renovation thanks to local voters.

Voters approved a bond issue Nov. 6 that will provide $23 million in upgrades to the facility. The bulk of the funding will come from a $2.5 million property tax, according to the local Town Talk, while another $1 million tax will help fund operations and maintenance at the venue in coming years.

Plans for the building include expanding seating capacity from 7,500 to 10,800, building new skyboxes, stages and dressing rooms, overhauling the venue’s light, sound, video and electrical systems and adding new heating and cooling systems, the paper said.
The proposal also includes a revamped exterior and new parking lot with double the spaces.
Oliver Overton, president of the Rapides Parish Police Jury, told the paper he hopes the renovated Coliseum will “bring some economic development back to Rapides Parish.”
The aging venue has struggled to attract many shows in recent years and a previous ballot measure that would have funded renovations was defeated in 2009.