UTICA- As the Utica College Sports and Recreation Dome got ready to reflate once again Friday, they ran into a little trouble with mother nature. According to project manager Eduardo Espinoza, the winds died down around 5:30 P.M. and the inflation process began.
“Once winds are over seven miles per hour I won’t send the dome up in the air,” said Espinoza, ASATI project manager. “It is unsafe and all this hard work could be thrown right out of the window.”
The group of roughly a dozen workers started the inflation process Friday night. The project started out slow with 75 percent of the dome inflating. The other 25 percent that didn’t inflate initially was due to the weight of the excess water.
“We have been bailing the water off for the past few hours,” said Espinoza. “We expect it to be fully up by the end of tonight.”
Although inside the dome might not be done yet, Utica College is excited to finally see it up.
“Oh it is exciting we have been waiting a long time almost a year,” said Dave Fontaine, Utica College Athletic Director. “Once it went down we were anxious to get it back up.”
The original dome collapsed on March 14 under the weight of Superstorm Stella. The difference between the dome which collapsed and the new one is a cross cable system.
“This new system will hopefully give the dome a bit more support,” said Fontaine. “It will have more of a distinct look too sort of like the Turning Stone Golf Dome.”
Utica College hopes to have the dome up and fully running by February 1st , 2018.