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Discussions continue over the future of The Mitchell Park Domes

NOW: Discussions continue over the future of The Mitchell Park Domes


All three domes have been back open for months but there's still no clear way to fix them. Tonight, the Domes Task Force hears a rebuttal from Milwaukee County explaining why low-ball repair costs are unrealistic.

15 months after the Desert Dome closed when a piece of concrete fell from the ceiling, The Domes Task Force mulls over the options to keep them open and there's hesitation to have a long-term plan involving regular maintenance.

"We've got suspended re-enforced concrete. This is not like a lot of buildings where you can come in and redo whole sections and keep it ongoing forever."

The discussion talked about the differences in approach between a county ordered cost analysis. And one referred to as the WJE, that's the one showing the less expensive option, estimating about 18 million in cost. That's only about a third of what the county was looking at.

County officials say the WJE leaves out important costs including drainage repairs and ADA accessibility. 

"I think what you really have here is a difference in opinion of building owner vs technical expert and I believe that everyone that has worked on this project is a technical expert but as a building owner, I feel that we are always going to have a very fine eye for the risk management associated with this."

"In 2013, when we had the first balls fall down, we spent two months talking about do we have to take all of the plants out of there, flatten it, just to put up scaffolding. And that was a tough thing to think about. Luckily, we found a lift and it took an incredible amount of planning that we could do it. But, it's very expensive."

Consultants also stressed the importance of financing for the life the structure. For example, if you plan to spend 'X' amount of dollars and you finance it, the county should pay that off before the building loses its usability. 

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