Wasuma Elementary School gymnasium under construction.

Wasuma Elementary School gymnasium under construction. (Glen Lauterbach)

Monolithic Dome made Wasuma gymnasium affordable and cool

The Monolithic Dome made it affordable for Wasuma Elementary to build a gymnasium and do so with style. Superintendent Glenn Reid told Mackenzie Mays with the Fresno Bee that he didn’t want people thinking they stepped into a Save Mart Center. Instead, they built a Monolithic Dome and “it does look pretty cool when you step inside.”

“Cool” wasn’t what Reid was going for, though. After the district passed a bond in 2006, there were several facility issues that took priority over providing Wasuma Elementary with a gym. Up until now, the cafeteria has doubled as its gym and events venue — forcing staff to host separate assemblies because the student body couldn’t fit into one room. The funding had dwindled, but Wasuma needed the space, so Bass Lake officials “got creative.”

The dome-shaped building cost the district around $2 million — about half of what it would’ve cost to build a traditional gym, Reid said.

The domes, made of concrete insulated with polyurethane foam, act as containers that naturally regulate the temperature — resulting in up to 75% less in energy costs compared to traditional buildings.

Read the rest of Wasuma Elementary home to first dome-style school building in California on The Fresno Bee.