Coaches, athletes and sports fans are delighted with Payson Unified School District’s new multipurpose dome, which will be home to the district’s middle and high school basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams.
“It gives us a fantastic arena for spectator sports,” said High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Barry Smith. “The 50-foot ceiling gives such an airy, open feeling. It’s a perfect fit with our suspended, four-sided scoreboard, and will be great for people to watch.”
Smith said he is impressed by the dome’s construction and floor plan. “The layout couldn’t be better. They took a square gym and put it into a round building, and it is great.”
The dome features one competition court that splits into two practice courts, as well as four coaches’ offices, two sets of boys’ and girls’ locker rooms and storage space. It also seats 2,400 — four times more people than the school’s existing gym.
Thinking round and saving
‘Thanks to using this type of building, we were able to get into a facility we needed for the amount of money that was available to us," the athletic director said.
District Superintendent Rus Kinzer said the new sports complex only cost about $2.8 million, as opposed to the $5 or $6 million it would have cost for a comparable building with traditional methods.
He said the dome’s attractive price tag helped convince people to give the unconventional building a try.
“People have to get used to the shape, but that’s already happening. We haven’t heard a lot of grumbling because people see the price and are impressed with the use of taxpayer money.”
But the savings don’t stop there, Kinzer said. “We anticipate that maintenance and energy costs will be fairly low. I was in there this winter when there was snow on the dome and no heaters, and it was still 70 degrees in there with just the lights heating it.”
When the multipurpose dome opens for use this summer, it will mark the completion of the school district’s second Monolithic Dome facility in the past two years.
You have to do a lot of groundwork with contractors and building inspectors," the superintendent said. “They’re used to straight lines and square corners, and are a little skeptical. But now that we’ve gone through the process, it would go more smoothly next time.”
When asked if there are more domes in Payson’s future, Kinzer smiled. “I think the district is likely to consider building more domes in the future, but not until after I retire,” he joked, adding, “I’m just kidding. It was well worth any extra work we had to do.”
Note: Article reprinted from Monolithic’s Summer 1997 Roundup. Author wrote for The Payson Roundup and reported on the domes from their inflation to their completion. Dollar amounts quoted were valid in 1995-1997.