New Firms Will Study Rehab, Replacement or Demo of The Domes
Construction consultant Concord Group will review options for redevelopment and demolition of The Domes.
At the end of 2022, the Milwaukee County Board approved funding for a consultant to analyze four redevelopment options for The Domes, including demolition, developing up-to-date cost estimates for each plan so that the board can weigh them against each other. The goal for the project is to give policymakers all the information they need to make a decision about The Domes.
The county has been wrestling with what to do about The Domes for approximately a decade, including a task force that worked for three years on the problem. And in that time it has produced a litany of reports, cost estimates and reviews of the facility. But supervisors expressed frustration when, after all that time, the county was still without an actionable plan for The Domes. The new consultant will be charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting all the relevant data and information so that policymakers can decide, once and for all, what that plan will be.
The Concord Group, a consulting firm with offices in Milwaukee and five other states around the country, was selected after bidding approximately $145,000 on the project. Cost management and cost estimating are two fields of expertise advertised by Concord. The firm plans to subcontract with McEnroe Consulting Engineers, engineers and planners from GRAEF and architects from The Kubala Washatko Architects. Toward the end of the project, architectural renderings and visualizations of the various options for The Domes will be created.
The Domes, built in 1959, are in great need of repair and maintenance. Steel mesh netting was put up in 2016 to catch pieces of concrete falling away from the structure. The Domes don’t just have structural sustainability problems, the facility is not sustainable as an operation. The Domes have long been operating at a loss for the county, representing a liability for a cash-strapped parks department and a county government that may need to make more than $100 million in budget cuts over the next five years.
Per the resolution adopted by the county board, Concord will study options for The Domes that include limited repairs to the structures, a full renovation, development of a previously envisioned “New Urban Botanical Park and Conservatory” or demolition.
This study will mark the first time that demolition has been contemplated by the county board. It has been operating under a formal policy that the only option for The Domes was their “repair and preservation.” It was included to give the board realistic cost estimates to weigh against renovation and preservation.
The supervisor for the area Juan Miguel Martinez pushed back against the consideration of demolition as the board reworked its policy last fall. But he ultimately supported the study, saying it was the “best available option that we have to be able to move forward.” He told Urban Milwaukee in February that, while he was still apprehensive about demolition being considered, he was “elated” that the project was moving forward and creating momentum for The Domes.
UPDATE: The description of which personnel from GRAEF were supporting the project was expanded.
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- MKE County: New Plan Emerging To Save The Domes - Graham Kilmer - Nov 16th, 2023
- MKE County: Domes Costs Shock Supervisors - Graham Kilmer - Sep 12th, 2023
- Op Ed: Don’t Despair About the Domes - Emma Rudd - Aug 16th, 2023
- MKE County: Parks Launches Mitchell Park Campaign - Graham Kilmer - Jul 31st, 2023
- MKE County: New Firms Will Study Rehab, Replacement or Demo of The Domes - Graham Kilmer - Mar 18th, 2023
- MKE County: County Begins Future Domes Study - Graham Kilmer - Feb 18th, 2023
- MKE County: Board Approves Studying Demolition, Other Options For The Domes - Graham Kilmer - Dec 16th, 2022
- Supervisor Martinez Renews Call to Fund the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory - Sup. Juan Miguel Martinez - Dec 6th, 2022
- MKE County: New Policy Would Require County To Study Demolishing The Domes - Graham Kilmer - Dec 1st, 2022
- Supervisors Applaud Decision to Advance Historic Designation for Mitchell Park Domes - Sup. Juan Miguel Martinez - Sep 23rd, 2022
Read more about Future of The Domes here