Alliant Energy Center could be getting a makeover

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The Master Plan Oversight Committee for the Alliant Energy Center project presented plans to revamp the center into a campus with new features at a Dane County Board meeting Thursday night.

According to Sharon Corrigan, the chair of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, the team has been meeting since April 2016 to develop plans for the campus.

Corrigan said first the team started with a market study in 2017 to look at what the campus meant to the community, as well as its economic impact. From that, they found that the current campus supports 1,700 jobs, and that there were opportunities for "a more economically vibrant campus."

“One thing we heard from the community, people really value the Alliant Energy Center, they see it as an asset and part of their quality of life in the area, and we heard that our users need more space out there for events and want more space," Corrigan said.

The current master plan looks at creating economic vitality in the area, said Corrigan. She said the plan for development would occur in phases, the first would involve expanding the expo center to create more space.

Corrigan also said the plans involve creating a ring road around the campus, which would create transit access, and would create a more walkable center to the campus.

The campus would include a hotel in addition to private investment opportunities like restaurants, offices, and residential spaces. Corrigan said the campus could create 1,400 more jobs.

According to Corrigan, these developments are necessary in order for Madison to stay competitive with other cities that are building upon their attractions.

"Doing nothing really isn't an option for this campus because if we do nothing we know that we're not going to keep up with our competition and keep getting the kind of events coming our campus that we have, and we have to work hard to compete in this environment," she said.

Corrigan said that while this plan is a guide of expert recommendations, the next step would be implementation, including looking at financing options. She said that the initial expansion of the expo hall would be $77 million. She said in the past, funding for projects has come from a combination of places, including a state building fund, county resources, and private dollars.

To view the full master plans, view the aecstudy.countyofdane.com .