December 12, 2013 — The proposed multipurpose pavilions for the Alliant Energy Center cleared the final financial hurdle Wednesday when the State Building Commission approved $9 million in state funding for the project.

The $23 million project will replace the aging barns at the Dane County-owned Alliant Energy Center with two state-of-the-art buildings totaling 290,000 square feet. They will sit on the exact footprint of the old barns and will house an estimated 2,600 livestock at capacity.

Construction is expected to begin at the conclusion of the Midwest Horse Fair in April with completion targeted around Sept. 15, two weeks before the opening of the 2014 World Dairy Expo.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the pavilions were needed to secure long-term deals with World Dairy Expo and the Midwest Horse Fair. They are the two biggest shows each year at the Alliant Energy Center.

Two new livestock events have already agreed to move there, Parisi said Wednesday. He said one show committed to a substantial multiyear contract starting in 2015 and the other agreed to a 2016 show. Parisi’s office declined to name the events.

Funding for the project also includes: $8.2 million from revenue generated at the Alliant Energy Center; $3 million from World Dairy Expo; $2.6 million from the county; approximately $1.5 million from New Holland Agriculture & Construction for naming rights, $1 million of which will be paid over 10 years; $1 million from the Midwest Horse Fair, paid over 20 years; and $600,000 from Centerplate.

Other local projects that received approval from the State Building Commission for state funding included:

The Hill Farms Complex in Madison, including the new Department of Justice Madison Crime Lab DNA Databank expansion, $1.6 million.