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