ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - For the first time people got the chance to see and voice their opinions on the proposed new Brown County Expo Center on Monday.
Preliminary design of color schemes and materials for the new Brown County Expo Center by Kahler-Slater & Populous design groups
The $93 million expo center would replace Shopko Hall and the Veterans Memorial Arena, which is beside the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon.
Project designers and architects say the new Brown County Expo Center would be multi-purpose use and will be able to house events the current arena cannot.
"It's an opportunity to not only make the Resch Center an entire complex but to give the community a flexible exhibition space, so an exposition hall to do concerts, to do livestock shows, to do sports shows, different community events," said Jeff Piette, team leader at Kahler-Slater Design Group Milwaukee.
A 120,000 square foot expo center would take over the current Veterans Memorial Arena and Shopko Hall, with a goal of connecting Titletown, Lambeau Field and the new expo center into one district.
"It's very flexible square footage,” said Piette, "so really it's about three times the size of the current Shopko Hall footprint.”
"We have so many guests that come here that come from out of the area that don't know that the Resch Center is down there, that Titletown is on the other end, and Lambeau is in the middle," said Ashwaubenon Village President Mary Kardoskee.
Brown County officials and residents said they're impressed with the modern design, but they say there's still work to do.
"I think it needs to be a very unique building,” said Tom Lund, Vice Chairman of the Brown County Board of Supervisors. “So I'm glad to see that they're really looking to make it a real showpiece for the community."
"I have to see more of it, because you know we're in the northern part of the country, and a lot of the problems we've had has been building buildings not suited for it," said Richard English of Ashwaubenon.
County executives say a majority of the $93 million new expo center will be paid for by excess room tax. Those funds will be available 10 years from now. In the meantime, $15 million in debt payments will be paid by the county's half-percent sales tax.
Another public input meeting will be held in a few weeks once suggestions are taken into consideration.
"The next one we'll start to show more of the architecture and show the way we're headed,” said Piette. “It'll have some more renderings, and we’ll again invite some input from the community."
Demolition of the arena is scheduled to begin in April or May. Completion of the arena is set for January 2021.