Hot Springs, AR began work in December on a major new convention center, three times as large as the city's present facility. By summer 1998, a new 900-foot building will stretch along Convention Boulevard, offering 75,000 square feet of clear-span exhibit space on one floor, 15 meeting rooms, and 30,000 square feet of banquet/meeting space. The existing center will remain open during the construction but will close down for renovations once the new building is on line.