Avalon High School gymnasium construction photo journal

Rendering of the Avalon gym.

Rendering of the Avalon ISD Multipurpose Center in Avalon, Texas.

Rick Crandall Illustration

The construction process of the Avalon Multipurpose Center in Avalon, Texas. In December 2001, the school administration broke ground on the 124-foot diameter, Monolithic Dome. It will feature a full-size basketball court, four locker rooms, synthetic glass block foyer, restrooms, concessions, and seating for 720 spectators.

Monolithic was hired by Avalon ISD to manage the construction of the project with Dome Technology of Idaho Falls as the dome contractor and J. Daughtery Construction for finish construction. The estimated completion is January 1, 2003.

Groundbreaking for the Avalon gym.

December 19, 2001 – Avalon ISD administration with superintendent David Del Bosque (center) and representatives from Monolithic including David B. South (right) break ground for the new gymnasium.

Dave South

A road grader prepares the site for construction.

February 5, 2002 – A grader works to finish preparing the site for construction.

Dave South

The plywood form used to construct the stem wall.

February 13, 2002 – To create the concrete stem wall, a temporary plywood form is constructed around the foundation. The 2x4 struts hold the form firmly in place during construction.

Dave South

Workers attaching rebar to the plywood form.

February 13, 2002 – Dome Technology workers attach rebar to the plywood form. Layers of shotcrete will be applied, creating a strong, concrete outer wall for attaching the Airform on top.

Dave South

The newly inflated copper-colored Airform membrane.

March 5, 2002 – The copper-colored Airform membrane was attached to the stem wall and inflated with school board members throwing the switch on the inflator fans.

Dave South

Visitors look around the newly inflated structure.

March 5, 2002 – Visitors see inside the inflated structure for the first time. Work will continue inside with polyurethane foam applied to the interior surface of the stem-wall and inflated membrane, creating a seamless insulation envelope for the whole structure. Rebar will be attached to the foam and shotcrete applied in layers until the shell is complete and the fans may be turned off.

Dave South

The nearly completed shell with the plywood form partially removed.

April 10, 2002 – The Monolithic Dome shell is now structurally sound so the fans are shut off and the plywood forms are beginning to be removed from outside the stem wall.

Dave South

Workers apply the final layers of shotcrete.

April 10, 2002 – Workers apply the final layers of shotcrete.

Dave South

The finished concrete wall.

April 10, 2002 – With the last layers of shotcrete applied, the finished structure is a one-piece, monolithic, concrete building from base to apex. The stem wall is actually a thin concrete outer wall and a thicker interior concrete wall with polyurethane foam sandwiched in between.

Dave South

The columned main entrance is now opened.

April 23, 2002 – The columns of the main entrance are part of the monolithic concrete structure and are extremely strong.

Dave South

White lined patches over the concrete exterior of the finished concrete shell.

April 23, 2002 – The white lines on the finished concrete shell are patches meant to smooth out imperfections on the stem wall after the plywood form was removed.

Dave South

Work continues inside with steel studs and plumbing.

June 14, 2002 – Work continues inside with steel studs and plumbing.

Dave South

The main foyer is framed using steel studs.

June 14, 2002 – The main foyer is framed using steel studs.

Dave South

The synthetic glass block wall entrance.

July 8, 2002 – A synthetic glass block wall is installed as the entrance to the foyer. Synthetic glass blocks are less expensive, easier to install, and safer than regular glass blocks.

Dave South

Attachments embedded in the dome will support the scoreboard, basketball standards, and more.

July 8, 2002 – Attachments are embedded into the dome for supporting the drop ceiling, HVAC ductwork, scoreboard, and basketball standards. The Monolithic Dome is naturally strong enough to hold this weight with little to no alteration in shell engineering.

Dave South

Drop ceiling grillwork hung from the dome with chains hanging down to hold the scoreboard.

August 9, 2002 – The drop ceiling gridwork is hung from the dome with chains hanging down to support the central scoreboard.

Dave South

A scaffold in place to start installing the scoreboard to the drop ceiling.

September 23, 2002 – With the drop ceiling tiles, lights, HVAC ductwork (above and out of sight), in place, work begins on installing the scoreboard.

Dave South

The wood basketball court floor is install, but still needs to be stained and sealed.

September 23, 2002 – The wood basketball court floor is installed atop a cushioned subsurface to give the court a professional “springy” feel. Artwork, game lines, and other inlays remain to be installed then the floor will be stained and sealed.

Dave South

A stucco coating was applied to the exterior stem wall.

July 14, 2002 – A stucco coating was applied to the exterior stem wall.

Dave South

Vertical glass wall inset in the curved stem wall main entrance.

July 8, 2002 – The vertical glass wall is set behind the curved wall opening which will give the main entrance a unique look with lots of exterior light for the foyer inside.

Dave South

The stem wall is finished with a layer of elastomeric sandstone-colored stucco.

August 30, 2002 – Crews apply the final sandstone-colored coating of elastomeric stucco to the stem wall.

Dave South

The dome "rising" from a cornfield.

July 8, 2002 – The dome appears to rise from a cornfield as drivers on the main highway near the rural town of Avalon, Texas.

Dave South

The outside of the Avalon gym looks complete.

September 27, 2002 – From the outside, the Avalon Multipurpose Center gymnasium looks complete. Inside, work continues with adding fixtures, staining the floor, and more. Everything is ahead of schedule and the gym may open as early as November — two months early.

Dave South