As the Utica College Sports and Recreation Dome is ready to inflate once again, we’re learning more about the changes that were made in the new design to keep it from collapsing in a central New York winter. The original dome collapsed on March 14 under the weight of Superstorm Stella.
The new dome is expected to be fully inflated on Friday, weather permitting, and it’s expected to take six to eight hours.
According to the college, improvements include a steeper pitch to prevent snow from accumulating on top, and the new dome stands at 95 feet tall, which is 15 feet higher than the original dome.
“It will be a cross-cable system which will be different, that will be noticeable, that will be different than what was there before,” said Dave Fontaine, athletic director at UC. “And we will have a ventilation system, a heating system, on the inside that will run through the roof to promote snow melt and ice melt. So, from the outside, it will look a little bit different. From the inside, it will be 135,000 square feet of openness and athletic playing fields and track.”
A grand opening of the new dome is scheduled for February 1, 2018.