- Associated Press - Monday, December 17, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Local officials hope that a plan to redevelop an events center in Madison will help the campus better accommodate events and stay competitive, with the first phase of the plan estimated to cost about $300 million.

Architecture firm Perkins+Will recently released its final master plan for the 164-acre Alliant Energy Center, The Capital Times reported . The plan calls for expanding an existing exhibition hall as well as building a hotel and parking, residential, retail and office space. The $300 million price tag would be public and private investment.

“We’re bursting at the seams,” said Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “We’re going to lose events to other places. Not only in Wisconsin but around the country, we’re seeing investments into these kinds of facilities, and people will bypass Madison if we don’t take the time and energy to invest into the campus.”

The firm recommends creating a $2.7 million gateway plaza that features pedestrian amenities such as landscaping, lighting, seating and decorative pavements. The first phase also seeks to improve the campus’s overall connectivity by creating a road through the area.

The current campus is isolated and could be better integrated with the community, said Deb Archer, president and CEO of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau. She said the challenge is to find a way to “make the campus breathe into the community and breathe back so that there is a sense of connection.”

The master plan also recommends removing the existing arena and constructing a new facility for an estimated $7.2 million.

Corrigan plans to introduce a resolution to the Dane County Board that would focus on implementing the plan. She said the next step is securing funding, and she hopes work on the exhibition hall can begin in the next five years.

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Information from: The Capital Times, http://www.madison.com/tct

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