Italy High School Gymnasium

The “Gladiator Coliseum” is the nickname for the Italy High School gymnasium in Italy, Texas. The 148-foot (45 m) diameter dome is also the tornado shelter for the student body during severe weather.

The Italy High School Multipurpose Center is the official name of the gymnasium in Italy, Texas. The nickname is the Gladiator Coliseum in honor of the original Coliseum in Rome, Italy, and because the school’s mascot is a Gladiator. Of course, most students just call it, “The Dome.”

The Dome is 148-feet (45 m) diameter by 30-feet (9 m) tall on a 16-foot (5 m) stem-wall, but that’s not entirely accurate. The wall and dome are integrated together. The whole structure from the foundation to the dome’s apex is one piece. This is the first large Monolithic Dome built using the Orion stem-wall system.

The gymnasium seats 1,500 on two levels. The floor level bleachers collapse against the wall to make room for two full-size practice courts. The second level circles around the court with hundreds of remarkably comfortable black plastic seats. The walkway between the seats and the railing serves as a walking track for students.

Interior of gym

The gymnasium seats 1,500 people on collapsable bleachers at floor level or on molded plastic seats set in a circle around the basketball court. There is a walking track between the seats and the railing.