Alliant Energy Center campus plan

The 164-acre Alliant Energy Center campus could be transformed over the next five years with renovations, hotels, restaurants, and apartments if a multi-million private-public redevelopment project goes through.

In the next step in the redevelopment of the Alliant Energy Center, the Dane County Board of Supervisors on Thursday July 11 will vote on a $199,500 contract with Strang Inc. of Madison for architectural engineering design services related to an expanded Exhibition Hall and campus.

The board meets on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. in Room 210 of the City-County Building in downtown Madison. The meeting is open to the public, with the complete agenda available at https://dane.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=643897&GUID=AF8CB1F2-AAFD-4949-A0E8-C60797B82BAD.

An expanded Exhibition Hall is the first step in a planned redevelopment of the entire 164-acre county-owned Alliant Energy Center campus.

A master plan previously approved by the Dane County Board calls for approximately $300 million in public and private investment to create a walkable, environmentally-friendly destination with meeting space, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues.

The Alliant Energy Center already hosts the World Dairy Expo, the Dane County Fair, the Brat Fest and CrossFit games and the expansion is expected to draw even more large events.

“Today, the Alliant Energy Center is one of the premier large event spaces in the country. An expanded Exhibition Hall will insure that Dane County will continue to attract business and serve the community well into the future,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan (District 26, Middleton). “I’m looking forward to working with Strang, Inc. as we move forward on this exciting project.”

The first phase of the Exhibition Hall expansion is estimated to cost $77.4 million and would add 50,000 sq. ft. of flexible space that could be subdivided to meet the demands of specific users. An upper level would provide a kitchen, service corridors and storage space for events of varying sizes.

The Exhibition Hall portion of the redevelopment alone is projected to create nearly 644 new jobs and generate $670,000 in annual state income taxes.

Board to consider donation, honor Lunney

Also at Thursday’s meeting, the County Board will consider a $104,000 donation from the Paradigm Foundation for the Dane County Sheriff’s Department to purchase specialized equipment for use in tactical situations, including active shooter or high-threat situations.

The donation follows the Sept. 19, 2018 shooting at software developer WTS Paradigm at 1850 Deming Way in Middleton. That day, a gunman shot four people before being stopped by police. The Paradigm Foundation was founded to give back to first responders and establish a framework for supporting worthy causes.

“We all need to offer our deepest thanks to the Paradigm Foundation and CEO Nate Herbst for this generous donation,” said Corrigan. “This is an amazing example of turning a tragedy into an opportunity for giving back to the community.”

The new safety equipment is designed to protect law enforcement personnel and will include items such as rifle-rated vests, helmets, shields and first aid kits.

The County Board on Thursday will also honor the public service contributions of Bill Lunney over the past 50 years, including serving as a member of the Dane County Board and - for the past 30 years - as chair of the Dane County Parks Commission. The Board will also recognize the naming of William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park.

Lunney has a long history working of working for conservation and environmental organizations including the Wisconsin Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks, Groundswell Conservancy, Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area, Natural Resource Foundation of Wisconsin and Gathering Waters Conservancy.

Bill and his wife, Judie Pfeifer, have also co-founded the Foundation for Dane County Parks as a legacy to support the future of public open spaces.

Other items before the board Thursday include:

• Introducing Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn as the new Presiding Judge.

• Presentation of an oil painting by artist Jennika Bastian created as part of a sister county relationship with Landkreis Kassel, Germany in tandem with documenta: EUARCA+, the global art celebration.

• Approving $1.6 million for expansion of Babcock County Park in McFarland to improve accessibility for kayaks and wheelchair-bound boaters along with adding 650 feet of public lakefront.

The 37-member, nonpartisan Dane County Board of Supervisors represents the needs and welfare of all residents of Dane County, Wisconsin, and sets policy for county operations in the areas of human needs, infrastructure, criminal justice, the environment and County finance. The county board meets twice monthly at 7 p.m. in Room 201 of the City-County Building located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in downtown Madison.

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