The first phase of the “Expanding the Experience” renovation of Ruth Eckerd Hall has been completed.

Renovation began in 2015 when the Murray Theatre completed a $1.5 million renovation which included a new ticket office, lobby and bar area, and upgrades in lightning and sound.

The second phase of the project included the recreation of the 350-person capacity Margarete Heye Great Room.

Among those renovations were new paint, carpets, floors and bar area, upgraded lights, renovations in a new kitchen and a new HVAC system.

The next phase of the project, known as the “Shovel in the Ground” phase is fully funded at $12 million. This phase began in 2017 with physical and aesthetic improvements to the road leading to Ruth Eckerd Hall and changes to the parking lot.

Two lanes will be added to the road approaching the building.

The majority of changes involving traffic will be completed by August. 

Over the summer, renovations will include expanding the lobby to six times it’s 1,000 square-foot size.

The Dress Circle Lounge for Circle of Stars members will be doubled in size and will receive a modern makeover.

A second bar will be added downstairs. 

Construction will continue on the outside of the venue, beginning with a new outdoor entertainment area.

The area, named The England Family Welcome Pavilion, will feature food and beverage service.

Finally, the arrival plaza will be expanded and the Raymond James Financial Ticket Office will be renovated to provide protection from the elements.