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Big Open House at Fowler USD 225

Image: Rendering of Fowler’s Gymnasium — Michael McCoy of Midwest City, OK began designing Monolithic Dome facilities in 2008. Asked if Monolithic Dome designing is either harder or easier than more commonly expected and accepted architecture in America, Michael said, "It’s neither harder nor easier. It’s a different building system that includes elements that a typical construction simply doesn’t have.

Rendering of Fowler’s Gymnasium — Michael McCoy of Midwest City, OK began designing Monolithic Dome facilities in 2008. Asked if Monolithic Dome designing is either harder or easier than more commonly expected and accepted architecture in America, Michael said, "It’s neither harder nor easier. It’s a different building system that includes elements that a typical construction simply doesn’t have. (Michael McCoy Architects)


Image: Seating for 1000 — Fowler’s gym has a diameter of 142 feet and a height of 28 feet, seating for 1000, and is the only Monolithic Dome gym in Kansas.
Image: Beautiful Basketball Floor — Like most schools in Kansas, Fowler is big on basketball and volleyball. They expect record crowds for these events.
Image: Beautiful and Safe — If a disaster threatens, the Fowler community will shelter in this gorgeous gym, that is not only disaster-resistant but energy efficient and as green as any building can be.
Image: Floor Plan — In addition to school sport activities, the community will use this Monolithic Dome gym for town-hall meetings and as a Community Wellness Center with a variety of exercise equipment.

A super good reason

On Wednesday, May 11th, Fowler USD 225 in Fowler, Kansas will host an all-day, gala event celebrating the opening of their Monolithic Dome gymnasium, and they’re inviting everyone!

Superintendent Sam Seybold put it this way. “We want a good turnout. I think it’s really important, especially with what’s been happening with the tornadoes in the South, for schools and communities to know (about Monolithic Domes ). We got hit with a tornado five years go and that’s really what got us going. Administrators need to know that the Emergency Management people, at least in the State of Kansas, are so excited about this because they would like to see every community in Kansas have one.”

The invitation list includes the entire community, city council, county commissioners, state legislators, neighboring school districts and colleges, and representatives from FEMA. Architect Michael McCoy and members of the South Industries, Inc. team who built the dome shell also plan to attend.

A super gym

Fowler, a community of just 600 with a student body of just 200, now has a Monolithic Dome gymnasium that has a diameter of 142 feet and a height of 28 feet, that can seat 1000 spectators and that, as of right now, is the only Monolithic Dome gym in Kansas.

“Actually,” Superintendent Sam said, “many of our people do not call it a gym. They think it’s too spectacular to be called a gym. They call it our arena.”

To pay for their arena, in November 2008 residents passed a bond for $1.94 million. Then following the example of schools in Texas and Oklahoma that received FEMA grants partially covering the construction costs of a disaster-resistant Monolithic Dome, Superintendent Sam applied for and received a FEMA grant for $345,639.

The school will use its new Monolithic Dome for all band and vocal programs, PE classes, volleyball and basketball. Superintendent Sam said, “We’ve already been selected to host a sub-state basketball tournament next year. That’s great. We want to showcase this facility as much as possible.”

The community will use the dome for town-hall meetings, conferences, workshops, and, of course, as a disaster shelter. Fowler is establishing the procedures to follow should a disaster threaten.

They are also outfitting their dome as a Community Wellness Center with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, available to school staff members and all residents.

“In a community this small,” Superintendent Sam said, “there simply is no other place for folks to exercise. We plan to really use and enjoy our gym.”

Read media coverage of open house