GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Officials with the city of Green Bay and KI put shovels into the ground Thursday, taking the first step in the planned expansion of the KI Convention Center.
Mayor Jim Schmitt says the 70,000 square foot expansion to the building will mean an extra $8 million in local economic development.
“It's the third largest city in the state and we just weren't competitive when it came to convention centers of a decent size. By doubling our space, that's going to put us right in the top five places in the state of Wisconsin,” said Schmitt.
KI owner Dick Resch is committing $2 million to the $23 million project. $2 million will also come from the state, with the rest coming from TIF district funding and excess room tax revenue.
It's expected to be complete by the spring of 2015, but tourism officials are already recruiting new national and international conventions.
(Additional reporting from FOX 11)