Central City Public Schools is constructing the first Monolithic Dome gymnasium in Nebraska. When the dome is opened in August 2020, it will seat 2,500 spectators and shelter over 3,000 people during severe weather. The facility is years in the making and it started with a simple internet search.
Jessica Votipka reports how a school board member, staying up late one night, found the Monolithic Dome. “I came across these domes being built where tornadoes are really bad,” Board member Brent Kennedy said. He emailed his colleagues at 2 a.m.
“I said, ‘let’s build a dome.’ They all thought I was crazy,” he said.
It made perfect sense, Kennedy said. “It was so much cheaper than building a regular gym.” Energy efficient, too.
Domes like those Kennedy discovered are monolithic domes, composed of insulated, steel-reinforced, thin-shell concrete. Matt Kreutzer, a licensed architect with CMBA Architects of Grand Island, explained: “Basically, it’s a continuous concrete surface top-to-bottom.”
The school applied for and eventually received a FEMA grant of $4 million to help pay for the $7.2 million facility. The school will use the FEMA grant to build the dome. Additional funds from the school bond will expand school services and remodel existing buildings.
Read the rest of Jessica Votipka’s story, “Shelter from the storm: Central City dome to be a Nebraska ‘first’, on The Grand Island Independent website.