Eight options identified for Mitchell Park Domes

Options include demolition, targeted investments and redevelopment of the complex

A county task force charged with helping determine the future of the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory has identified eight options for the Domes, ranging from demolishing them to redeveloping the building complex.

The Mitchell Park Domes

The Milwaukee County Task Force on the Mitchell Park Conservatory Domes recently released a report describing each of the options, along with speculative cost estimates. They include:

Do nothing

This option would involve not taking any action to remediate deferred maintenance, allowing deterioration to continue. It would require continued reinvestment in mesh screens and intermittent closures for inspections, and it would continue the sub-optimum conditions for plant collections. This options assumes the eventual demolition of the Domes, with a total life expectancy of about five more years.

Demolish the Domes, retain greenhouses: $10-15 million

This option could include transferring portions of the plant collection to other locations and possibly require the construction of a new facility to house portions of the collection. Capital costs, estimated at $10 million to $15 million, would include the demolition of Domes, re-landscaped parking lots and roads, transferring plants to a new home, building a new facility and an investment in the greenhouses and annex for new uses.

Address deferred maintenance: $20-30 million

This option would include repairing the building envelope, including the glass, seals, concrete coating, and addressing deficiencies in code compliance and accessibility access. Operations would continue as is. The cost is estimated at $20-30 million and would require funding from Milwaukee County and private donors. It would increase the Domes’ life expectancy to 25 or more years.

Targeted investments: $40-50 million

This option would include addressing deferred maintenance, along with the construction of new classrooms, offices, meeting space and storage, improving the guest entrance, adding improved retail space and food service, improving connections to greenhouses and the annex, enhancing the annex as a venue for farmers markets and facility rentals and adding a catering kitchen. It would also involve increasing parking capacity and improving connections to the park and trail. The plan is estimated to cost $40 million to $50 million and would require funding from the county and private donors.

EcoDome destination attraction: $75-90 million

In addition to addressing deferred maintenance and making targeted investments, this plan would include the addition of a new immersive ecological habitat zone, canopy walks, aquariums and live animals. It would create a changing exhibit area and new facility for themed flower shows and other public events; add a butterfly and other animal exhibit elements to the Botanical Domes; add an outdoor children’s garden in a ticketed zone; expand the outdoor gardens; add conservation and ecological elements in the new exhibits and in the Domes; and add a destination restaurant. The plan is estimated to cost $75 million to $95 million and would require funding from the county, private donors and a substantial community investment, the report said.

Adventure Dome destination attraction: $70 million to $95 million

In addition to addressing deferred maintenance and making targeted investments, this plan would include the addition of new themed adventure experiences, including canopy walks, zip lines, climbing structures, water play features and a playground. It would create a changing exhibit area, new facility for themed flower shows and other public events, add a butterfly and other animal exhibit elements to the Botanical Domes, add an outdoor children’s garden in a ticketed zone and add a destination restaurant. The plan is estimated to cost $75 million to $95 million and would require funding from the county, private donors and a substantial community investment, the report said.

Hybrid redevelopment EcoDome destination attraction: $75-90 million

This option is the same as the EcoDome destination attraction option, with the exception of the Show Dome being replaced with a new structure. It would create an EcoDome destination attraction in the location of the razed show dome. The plan is estimated to cost $75 million to $95 million.

Hybrid redevelopment Adventure Dome destination attraction: $75-90 million

This option is the same as the Adventure Dome destination attraction option, with the exception of the Show Dome being replaced with a new structure. The plan is estimated to cost $75 million to $95 million.

The full report is available online. Throughout the month of June, the task force will host discussions with various community groups to collect feedback on the options.

A county task force charged with helping determine the future of the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory has identified eight options for the Domes, ranging from demolishing them to redeveloping the building complex.

The Mitchell Park Domes

The Milwaukee County Task Force on the Mitchell Park Conservatory Domes recently released a report describing each of the options, along with speculative cost estimates. They include:

Do nothing

This option would involve not taking any action to remediate deferred maintenance, allowing deterioration to continue. It would require continued reinvestment in mesh screens and intermittent closures for inspections, and it would continue the sub-optimum conditions for plant collections. This options assumes the eventual demolition of the Domes, with a total life expectancy of about five more years.

Demolish the Domes, retain greenhouses: $10-15 million

This option could include transferring portions of the plant collection to other locations and possibly require the construction of a new facility to house portions of the collection. Capital costs, estimated at $10 million to $15 million, would include the demolition of Domes, re-landscaped parking lots and roads, transferring plants to a new home, building a new facility and an investment in the greenhouses and annex for new uses.

Address deferred maintenance: $20-30 million

This option would include repairing the building envelope, including the glass, seals, concrete coating, and addressing deficiencies in code compliance and accessibility access. Operations would continue as is. The cost is estimated at $20-30 million and would require funding from Milwaukee County and private donors. It would increase the Domes’ life expectancy to 25 or more years.

Targeted investments: $40-50 million

This option would include addressing deferred maintenance, along with the construction of new classrooms, offices, meeting space and storage, improving the guest entrance, adding improved retail space and food service, improving connections to greenhouses and the annex, enhancing the annex as a venue for farmers markets and facility rentals and adding a catering kitchen. It would also involve increasing parking capacity and improving connections to the park and trail. The plan is estimated to cost $40 million to $50 million and would require funding from the county and private donors.

EcoDome destination attraction: $75-90 million

In addition to addressing deferred maintenance and making targeted investments, this plan would include the addition of a new immersive ecological habitat zone, canopy walks, aquariums and live animals. It would create a changing exhibit area and new facility for themed flower shows and other public events; add a butterfly and other animal exhibit elements to the Botanical Domes; add an outdoor children’s garden in a ticketed zone; expand the outdoor gardens; add conservation and ecological elements in the new exhibits and in the Domes; and add a destination restaurant. The plan is estimated to cost $75 million to $95 million and would require funding from the county, private donors and a substantial community investment, the report said.

Adventure Dome destination attraction: $70 million to $95 million

In addition to addressing deferred maintenance and making targeted investments, this plan would include the addition of new themed adventure experiences, including canopy walks, zip lines, climbing structures, water play features and a playground. It would create a changing exhibit area, new facility for themed flower shows and other public events, add a butterfly and other animal exhibit elements to the Botanical Domes, add an outdoor children’s garden in a ticketed zone and add a destination restaurant. The plan is estimated to cost $75 million to $95 million and would require funding from the county, private donors and a substantial community investment, the report said.

Hybrid redevelopment EcoDome destination attraction: $75-90 million

This option is the same as the EcoDome destination attraction option, with the exception of the Show Dome being replaced with a new structure. It would create an EcoDome destination attraction in the location of the razed show dome. The plan is estimated to cost $75 million to $95 million.

Hybrid redevelopment Adventure Dome destination attraction: $75-90 million

This option is the same as the Adventure Dome destination attraction option, with the exception of the Show Dome being replaced with a new structure. The plan is estimated to cost $75 million to $95 million.

The full report is available online. Throughout the month of June, the task force will host discussions with various community groups to collect feedback on the options.

Comments