(WKTV) - Utica College has plans to build a 500 foot by 270 foot, 81-foot-high dome on campus, but first, they need a yes vote Tuesday evening from the city zoning board.
Utica College officials say they know the word "dome" conjures up image of Syracuse University's Carrier Dome and sell-out events attended by thousands and all the traffic that implies. UC's dome and its intended purpose are much different.
Pat Caruso built her west Utica home 54 years ago. She likes the peace, quiet and privacy of being the last house on a dead end street. She wonders how, if at all, the proposed sports dome will change that.
"How much blocking of the view of the neighborhood is it going to be? That is a concern," she said.
Utica College officials say their dome will be used almost exclusively for practice.
"Track and field will be now housed in the dome," said Dave Fontaine, director of athletics at Utica College. "We'll also have a turf field in there as well, about 80 yards long by 50 yards wide. The track I was talking about will be a 200-meter track, six lanes and eight-lane sprints. Inside the middle of the track will be four courts, basketball, volleyball, tennis-type courts."
UC officials say noise and neighborhood destruction should not be an issue.
"Some people think of a dome as a big, glowing structure in the evening," said Fontaine. "This dome will be insulated. There will be very little light pollution."
Fontaine also says there won't be parking at the dome, so it shouldn't bring crowds and traffic.
Officials hope the dome elevates Utica College to a whole new level of athletic convenience and glory.
"It brings the institution to a new level in general," Fontaine said. "We're going to be very competitive with other institutions. It'll be something our student athletes can come and see and definitely appreciate. It'll be just another showpiece for our campus."
To see a view of the dome, visit www.utica.edu/dome