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Veterans Memorial Coliseum (copy)

The Dane County Board will review a master plan guiding future redevelopment of the Alliant Energy Center Campus and its facilities, including the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in December

Dane County’s master plan for redesigning the Alliant Energy Center campus is taking form and includes an additional hotel, structured parking and restaurants available on site.

Representatives from Perkins + Will, the firm hired by the county to create the plan, presented modifications to the draft of the master plan to the county’s Alliant Energy Center Comprehensive Master Plan Oversight Committee Monday. The master plan, expected to be finalized in December, will guide redevelopment of the 164-acre campus and prioritize improvements.

Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan said the campus has the potential to be a destination site where visitors want to spend time.

“Some of the feedback we’ve gotten is people want a dense, walkable feel to the campus, that they would like see this as a destination,” Corrigan said.

The first phase of the plan as outlined by Perkins + Will calls for an expansion of the Exhibition Hall, including street frontage and drop-off area, streetscape improvements and the creation of a 300-room headquarters hotel.

Following these changes, the draft plan recommends creating a new arena building with expanded parking, a gateway plaza with pedestrian amenities, and a private mixed-use development that would include a second hotel.  It also recommends realigning the road around the campus and expanding parking on the north end of campus.

“The feel of the campus will be changed by implementing this plan,” Corrigan said. “It will feel like you’ve come to a place where you want to spend some time.”

John Slack, an associate principal with Perkins + Will, said the master planning process presents an opportunity to expand the Clarion Suites at the Alliant Energy Center and encourage a higher level of service.

“Master plans like this need to be flexible,” Slack said.

The plan also addresses transportation in and around the campus and stormwater management.

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Perkins + Will estimates the total public project cost at approximately $90 million, while private developments are expected to be more than $200 million.

Once implemented, the county hopes the master plan will create employment opportunities and boost economic development in the surrounding neighborhoods while also improving connections to Lake Monona and the downtown.

The “Spirit of Madison” group, led by the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau, is also finalizing a destination district plan for the area surrounding the Alliant Energy Center Campus.

“We need to have a connectivity to it in a way that the community can take advantage of it,” Corrigan said. “The destination district has been looking at that.”

The oversight committee expects to see a final master plan document in November, which is scheduled to come before the County Board in December.

Following adoption of the master plan, the committee will identify short-term improvements and potential funding strategies. Long-term implementation, which includes funding, design and construction, will be a multi-year endeavor.

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Abigail Becker joined The Capital Times in 2016, where she primarily covers city and county government. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.