Aug. 19 2014 07:58 AM

The New Holland Pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center are on track to be ready for the start of World Dairy Expo.

There are just six more weeks until the start of World Dairy Expo, and many eyes are curiously watching the progress of the new pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center.

At a media event this week, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the New Holland Pavilions building project is on time. "Things are going good, even better than expected," he shared.

The new facilities, Parisi explained, will keep premier shows like World Dairy Expo and the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison. "In addition, it will open up the grounds to new opportunities," he said. Parisi could not cite specific names yet due to pending contracts, but at least eight new shows are scheduled for the grounds, and eight more are in the early planning stages.

The project has been an exciting partnership between New Holland Agriculture & Construction, World Dairy Expo, the Midwest Horse Fair and Wisconsin Horse Council, Centerplate, and the state of Wisconsin. "It is everything we hoped for," Parisi said.

Crews are working hard to complete the pavilions by September 19.

Mark Clarke, executive director of the Alliant Energy Center, confirmed that the grounds will be set for occupancy on September 19. The first cattle will arrive on September 25, giving Alliant Energy Center staff just under a week to prepare the facilities for World Dairy Expo.

Pavilion 2 is further along than Pavilion 1 at this point, with electricity and lights already in place. There are about 100 people on the job site every day, working from about 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., five to six days per week. The crew will add on members and hours as the end gets closer, Clarke said.

Together, the two pavilions span 290,000 square feet. The new facilities will include amenities for cattle and exhibitors alike, including manure storage and wash racks all under cover. The buildings will contain all new stalls, and positive pressure ventilation tubes will bring fresh air into the facilities.

The milking parlor, located in Pavilion 2, will include all new equipment, as well. It will be a double-12 parlor, an expansion from the former double-9. The milking area will include three separate rooms for the parlor, milk house and mechanical equipment, which will make a quieter and more enjoyable environment in the parlor. It will also have big windows in front so that the public can watch milking.

This area will include the new double-12 milking parlor, featuring all new equipment and public viewing windows.

The buildings will provide a state-of-the-art home for animals and exhibitors, but those involved with the project feel the opportunities will go well beyond that. "The buildings give us a whole new set of options we've never had before," Clarke said.

You can read more about the New Holland Pavilions building project in the upcoming September 10, 2014, issue of Hoard's Dairyman on page Expo 7.

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The author is an associate editor and covers animal health, dairy housing and equipment, and nutrient management. She grew up on a dairy farm near Plymouth, Wis., and previously served as a University of Wisconsin agricultural extension agent. She received a master's degree from North Carolina State University and a bachelor's from University of Wisconsin-Madison.