County Board Going Greener on Veterans Memorial Coliseum Upgrades

County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan, 608.333.2285
County Board

High-efficiency lights, plumbing fixtures could be incorporated into redevelopment at Alliant Energy Center

The Dane County Board is poised to approve a major upgrade to the restroom facilities at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, helped in part by a county-backed environmental sustainability fund.

Before the full board at its regular meeting Thursday night, the project  would bring immediate utility savings while local officials consider a broader redevelopment of the entire Alliant Energy Center campus.

Supervisors will consider a $1.34 million resolution for new LED lighting and high-efficiency plumbing fixtures at the Coliseum. Most of the bathroom fixtures to be replaced are original to the 10,000-seat arena that opened in 1967, according to county staff estimates.

The board meets at 7 p.m. in Room 201 of the City County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown Madison.

When completed, the new toilets, sinks and urinals are projected to cut water usage at the Coliseum by 50 percent, or some 1.25 million gallons a year. The new lights will reduce electric usage by over 100,000 kilowatt hours, according to county staff estimates.

Combined, the upgrades should reduce utility expenses at the Coliseum by $21,000 annually while improving the appearance and function of the restrooms for event patrons.

 “This is a chance to make some badly-needed improvements at the Coliseum for the public and cut our operating costs as we continue to move forward on a longer-term plan,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan.

As a bonus, the new plumbing fixtures could be incorporated into future upgrades at the county-owned facility.  The low-flow toilets and sinks are being funded with $80,000 from Dane County’s SMART Fund, which helps advance the county’s sustainability goals.

“Clearly the value of this project is not just in the rapid economic payback through annual cost savings but also in the environmental benefits of significantly- reduced water consumption and the impact that has on our valuable ecosystems,” said Supervisor Robin Schmidt of Monona.


Meanwhile, local officials including members of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau continue to mull a broader redevelopment of the entire 164-acre Alliant Energy Center campus. A report earlier this year from Chicago-based Hunden Strategic Partners suggested creating a “village feel” for the property while expanding existing structures including the Coliseum and Exhibition Hall.

Included in the recommendations are an overhaul of the Coliseum and an expansion of the Exhibition Hall with more floor space and a new ballroom, one or two new hotels and a “restaurant row” to draw visitors year-round.

The full redevelopment would cost more than $240 million if all the suggested renovations and expansions were completed. But the Hunden report said that level of investment could create more than 600 new full-time jobs while boosting the local economy.

Also Thursday, the Board is to:

Consider a policy that would prohibit the county from requiring any of its employees, officers or members to travel to any state that has enacted a law that voids or repeals existing state or local protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The travel policy also extends to any states that have enacted laws that authorize or require discrimination against same-sex couples or their families.
Consider a resolution urging the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to require an analysis of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek high-capacity electric transmission line project and consider alternatives to the project.