Wisconsin Center expansion project hits milestone with topping off ceremony

NOW: Wisconsin Center expansion project hits milestone with topping off ceremony

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin Center expansion project hit a new milestone on Wednesday, May 10 with the installment of the final structural beam for the north building of the new addition.

State and local leaders celebrated during a topping off ceremony at the construction site of what will now be known as the Baird Center.

"To be in a point, this milestone of the building really sets us up for the next 10, 11 months to complete construction so that we're open on time and at budget, it's a great day," Wisconsin Center District President and CEO Marty Brooks told CBS 58 after the topping off ceremony. "It just happens to be a beautiful day as well."

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson was on the Wisconsin Center District Board when the body voted for the current expansion years ago.

"Now to be here as mayor, at the topping off ceremony, to this wonderful addition, doubling the size of the convention center that's going to play host to the RNC and so many other great events that are going to come to Milwaukee, it's really a great day for the city," Mayor Johnson told CBS 58 after the ceremony.

The expansion has a price tag of $456 million and will double the size of the convention center by adding 24 new meeting rooms, at least 400 indoor parking spaces, six new loading docks and a fourth-floor ballroom with space and seating for at least 2,000 people.

"The center and the conventions, meetings and events that it will attract over the years will be an economic power house," Governor Tony Evers said at the topping off event.

Other leaders also touted the potential for the completed expansion to bring in business and tourism dollars for the city for years to come.

"I feel confident that the expanded Baird Center will continue to elevate Milwaukee into a sought after convention destination," Wisconsin Center District Board Chairman James Kanter said.

The expansion project is set to be complete and ready for opening in May of 2024.

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