First Dome School in Wisconsin on Schedule

Five dome school under construction.

The five Monolithic Dome shells are complete at the Johnson Creek school campus. Construction continues on the interior and on the conventionally constructed connectors.

South Industries / Monolithic Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Five Monolithic Domes under construction in Wisconsin will become the first Monolithic Dome school in the state. The Johnson Creek Middle School / High School will include classrooms, gymnasium, cafetorium (cafeteria and small auditorium), administration offices, and more. Good weather and hard work mean that construction is slightly ahead of schedule. Everyone is optimistic it will all be ready for the 2016–17 school year.

When the Daily Union visited Thursday, each of the domes was in a different stage of construction. Ductwork was being installed in the administration dome, while work on the cafetorium dome had begun on creating the raised stage. Painting was going on in the gym, while the high school dome still was in the process of having concrete sprayed on in layers over wire brackets.

Brick-like appearance of concrete stem-wall.

Rubberized concrete molds were attached to the single-sided stem-wall form and sprayed with shotcrete. When the forms were removed the finished surface appears to be made of brick when it is actually a one-piece concrete wall. The wall is sprayed with beige paint and then red paint is rolled over the “brick” section to complete the finished look.

South Industries / Monolithic Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

It hasn’t been an easy road. The school district came to the voters five times for a new school.

The successful referendum followed four failed votes, and each time the district changed the plan and sought more efficient alternatives in order to find a project that the community would support.

This referendum did not include outside athletic facilities such as softball, baseball and football fields and the planned track. Instead, supporters have established a capital campaign, “One Team, One Dream,” to raise the $2.5 million needed to assure that those facilities are included on the new school site.

In the end, the district own five of the most energy efficient structures ever built. In our experience, energy savings alone—compared to conventional buildings—will pay for the new school in less than twenty years.

Read the rest of Pam Chickering Wilson’s story, Johnson Creek’s dome school on schedule on the Daily Union website.