It’s not a long time between April 13, when the Midwest Horse Fair closed its gates for another year and September 26th when dairy cattle begin moving into Madison for World Dairy that opens its doors on the 30th, just five days later, But in that brief period, the nine dairy barns that have helped house the 2500 dairy cattle attending World Dairy Expo for decades will have to be demolished and two huge pavilions, totaling 290,000 square feet in size must be built and equipped.
The challenge to get all that done is in the hands of The Alliant Energy Center who operate the complex the barns are but a part of. More specifically, Mark Clarke, executive director of The Alliant Energy Center is the man at the front, his feet on the ground and his head full of all details that will make the $23 million project come t life.
The first big project, demolishing the old dairy barns, got off to a loud start as machines of many kinds and sizes began taking buildings down almost before the horses got off the grounds.
By April 22nd the former crowded area where the barns were located rather resembled one big open field, albeit paved. Only the old restroom building and part of Barn 4 were still standing, much of the heavy equipment was idle, but workers were digging ditches, smashing concrete and doing what they do to build the new structures.