Note: When we recently interviewed Mr. Watson for an article about the new Monolithic Dome on his campus, he had great comments about the project that didn’t get into the article. Here’s what he had to say:
At one time, Joel Emerson, a professional, creative brick mason, jokingly told Debbie, his wife, that someday he would build her a brick igloo. In the years that followed, Joel learned about Monolithic Domes, and in 2003 he attended a Monolithic Workshop. So what started as a casual joke became a serious project – with a little modification: Joel’s original brick igloo became a Monolithic Dome enhanced with brick.
Xanadu – Samuel Taylor Coleridge coined that name for his imagined paradise in 1797. Some two hundred years later, Ivan and Judy Sheinbaum began creating their Xanadu – a Monolithic Dome tropical island resort on Ambergris Caye in the West Caribbean nation of Belize.
The town of Jay, in northwest Florida, has less than 600 residents in its 1.6 square miles. But this farming community, known for its peanuts, cotton, soybeans and hay, has a history of more than 100 years and an annual Peanut Festival. It’s got something else too: a technologically sophisticated Monolithic Dome home!
Anthony (Tony) Clarke is one busy Aussie. He runs a migration office that helps immigrants to his country with their necessary, complex paperwork, is involved with industrial hemp, markets music videos and DVDs and serves his community as Justice of the Peace and a Knight of the Order of St. John Hospitalier. Nevertheless in April 2001, he found the time to travel to Italy, Texas and take one of Monolithic’s dome-building Workshops.
For most Americans going to see a movie is no big deal! But what if you had to leave the country to do it? And what if you had to make sure you had valid, picture ID with you so you could re-enter the US? Believe it or not, that’s exactly what going to a movie entails for Dianne and Bryan Bremner, two sixty-something retirees who built a Monolithic Dome home in Republic, Washington, 25 miles south of a border crossing into Canada.
About ten years ago, the Pembers decided to build a new home, and, after investigating alternatives, decided to make that new home a Monolithic Dome. So Dale, a professional plumbing contractor, enrolled in the Spring 2001 Monolithic Workshop. What he learned, coupled with his years of experience in construction, convinced Dale that he and Ida – occasionally with help from friends – could build their dome home.
Yesterday we mobilized over 300 people into the Multipurpose Center very quickly and safely. First, I would like to commend all district staff for your quick response and how orderly you moved students to shelter. It was important that we do this quickly without causing a panic. We were able to accomplish that yesterday.
Articles regarding the Caledonia School District of Missouri featured on the Monolithic website.
Robert L. Duffy High School, which will open its doors this fall in Phoenix, is a different kind of school. While it does offer core curriculum classes in English, math, social studies and science, it also has career-focused classes designed to help students get an entry-level job in the field of their choice. It’s fitting, therefore, that this innovative curriculum will be housed in innovative buildings—three Monolithic Dome school buildings to be exact.
In a special section on the 21st century school, The Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota highlighted a number of innovations ranging from new teaching methods to state-of-the-art building styles. There’s Gibbs Elementary, set to open later this year, which features interactive white boards that can display videos and other high-tech material. There are the 5,000 Minnesota students who are taking all of their classes online. And then there’s arguably the most innovative school of all, and it’s Grand Meadow School, which opted to build five Monolithic Dome buildings in 2002. Eight years after it opened, the school is still making news. And it’s not just the shape that makes the school noteworthy. Superintendent Joe Brown reports that the school saves 25 percent per year on maintenance and energy costs.
Articles pertaining to the Grand Meadow School district on the Monolithic website.
When the Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to help fund construction of a Monolithic Dome in Niangua, Missouri, an area that had been hit by tornadoes in the past, school officials across the nation took notice. When FEMA announced in December that it was also going to help fund a Monolithic Dome in South Texas, the media started taking notice too.
Most folks just don’t associate Florida with tornadoes. Most think of Florida as hurricane country. But Harrilyn and Rudy Watts know better. They live 21 miles south of Chipley. It has a population of about 3600, a motto that describes it as “A small town with a proud heritage and a bright future” – and tornadoes.
There’s not much to look at as you drive up Interstate 44 from Texas into Oklahoma – until you get a bit south of Lawton. Then, surprise, surprise! Off to your right you spot the rounded tops of a cluster of copper colored Monolithic Domes, just sitting there in the middle of what appears to be nowhere. It isn’t. It’s Geronimo, Oklahoma, 0.53 square miles of Comanche County and home for almost 1000 residents.
For a stranger in Gainesville, Texas, a town of about 16,500 people, the Whaley United Methodist Church and its Monolithic Dome multipurpose center is a little hard to find. But most resident can tell you exactly where “the dome” is. That’s because, since it’s completion in 2005, this Monolithic Dome is used, not only by the church, but by the community.
Please consider this letter as a letter of reference for the utilization of the Monolithic Dome method of construction for your consideration. This school district has just completed five (5) dome structures and are very satisfied the buildings will be energy efficient, safe from weather extremes and have a very long life. We also feel one of the most positive attributes to the construction of the Monolithic Dome is the simplicity of the design which will allow the building to retain it’s usefulness and far outlast conventional building methods.
After retiring his position as an American Airlines’ flight dispatcher at DFW, Don Steelman enrolled in one of Monolithic’s hands-on Workshops. What he learned and did convinced him of the innate qualities of a Monolithic Dome home. Impressed by the dome’s longevity and energy efficiency, Don and wife decided to move to Mohave Valley, Arizona and build a Monolithic Dome home.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation recently broke ground a 160-foot diameter Monolithic Dome multipurpose facility adjacent to an existing sports complex in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The Muscogee Phoenix newspaper covered the groundbreaking of the $4 million facility, which is scheduled for completion in 2010.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is making plans to build a 160-foot diameter Monolithic Dome multipurpose facility adjacent to their existing sports complex in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The $4 million facility, which will encompass more than 20,000 square feet, will include spectator seating, classrooms, concessions and several multi-use areas. Construction is set to begin in late summer and will be completed in 2010.
Can the annual premium for homeowners insurance on the same Monolithic Dome structure for the same coverage drop? “Sure can, and did,” says Don Tuttle, who, with wife Shirley, built a Monolithic Dome home in Shamrock, Texas.
After five years of continual use, most members of Pilgrims United Church of Christ in Fruitland Park, Florida are just as enthusiastic about their two Monolithic Domes as they were at that deciding meeting when eighty-four of the eighty-nine present voted for their construction.
Jan Pregowski has three loves: God, his family, and – of all things, but to our delight – Monolithic Domes! Jan, a 53-year-old native of Poland, first heard about Monolithic Domes in 1985. Since then, he has worked on more than a hundred dome projects in various countries, including several in the United States.
Story time in the treetops? That’s the fantasylike environment four-year-old Meili Kaslik enjoys. When it’s Meili’s story time, she and her mom Melanie cuddle into comfy chairs in a cozy, glass-enclosed nook perching above the treetops at the Monolithic Dome home they call Cloud Hidden.
If you visited the Morrisetts’ new Monolithic Dome home in Anchorage, Alaska and asked, “Is everybody happy?” you would probably get an enthusiastic “yes” from the three humans and an affirmative bark from their dog. The reason is simple: the Morrisetts — David, who is 42 and a computer programmer, April, who is 39 and an office manager for a vending machine company, Joshua, their almost-4-year-old son, and Chewbacca their dog— all love their new dome home.
In 1992, Jimmie Keas, the Minister at Church of Christ in Salina, Kansas, and the congregation made a big decision. They began researching various building designs and came across information on Monolithic Domes, that immediately sparked their interest.
“The result was worth the effort!” That was how Robert Melosh, facility project coordinator, at the Children’s Reading Center (CRC) described all he and school administrators had to go through to get their new school.
Abundant Life Church in Denham Springs, Louisiana built a sanctuary with a Monolithic Dome atop a stemwall that is eighteen feet high and one foot thick. This main sanctuary has a diameter of 192 feet and encompasses 28,000 square feet, with a seating capacity for 2800 worshippers.
Since its opening in 1991, the two Monolithic Domes of City Bible Church have become somewhat of a landmark in Portland, Oregon. Art Johansen, facility administrator at City Bible, is very much in favor of that development.
While the population count of Avalon, Texas may be in doubt and small, its pride and interest in their school is not. Most recent proof of that is Avalon’s new Multipurpose Center, for its 250 students in pre-kindergarten to Grade 12. Designed by Monolithic Architect Rick Crandall and built with a 12’ stemwall, this Monolithic Dome measures 124′ × 25′ with a total height of 37 feet.
When the Native American community saw their need for not one, but two, new school facilities on its Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona, they got innovative. Superintendent Mark Sorenson explained, “We designed Tolchii Kooh to be like a district office, with Leupp and Little Singer as independent schools, subcontracted to Tolchii Kooh.”
This is a 35′ × 15′ sphere. Exterior is elastomeric Elray stucco. Eyebrows are hand formed out of expanded steel lathe filled with straw.
“This looks like the art school of the 25th century!” According to Roger Klietz, founder and president of the School of Communication Arts (SCA) in Raleigh, North Carolina, that was the reaction one consultant had after seeing SCA’s new Monolithic Dome campus.
If you want to talk to happy, excited people, just call or visit Rock Port, Missouri. This mainly agricultural community, populated by only 1500 and located a short eight miles from the great Missouri River, recently completed a new, Monolithic Dome Technology Center for its school.
Construction crews building a new middle school and high school in Geronimo, Oklahoma will be turning heads on Monday, October 6th (weather permitting) when they use giant fans to inflate a huge balloon, known as an Airform to create the shape of the school’s fifth and final dome building.
USD225 in Fowler will find out in November whether it can build a futuristic, energy-efficient dome building to serve as a new multi-purpose facility. Voters will decide on November 4th whether to approve a $1.94 million bond issue that would fund construction of a Monolithic Dome structure that would house a computer/technology lab, a new band/vocal room, a new gymnasium, two locker rooms, and a commons/concession area.
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.
“The best experience we have ever had building anything,” said Dr. Steve Broyles, Dean of Administrative Services at NCTC (North Central Texas College) in Gainesville. He was talking about NCTC’s new Monolithic Dome Performing Arts Center at its grand opening dedication on April 8, 2005.
On its website (milehichurch.org) that’s how Mile Hi Church in Lakewood, Colorado talks about its new sanctuary — a huge Monolithic Dome that called for an Airform of 44,000 square feet. Opened in April 2008, the dome has a diameter of 232 feet, a height of 60 feet, a seating capacity of 1500.
When Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, Arizona opened its new Monolithic Domes a little more than a year ago, thousands came. They filled the church’s 2000-seat sanctuary and overflowed its 860-space parking lot.
While it can’t fly, Lake Christian Church in Palmyra, Virginia is a Monolithic Dome sanctuary with wings, designed by D. Thomas Kincaid, A.I.A. The sanctuary’s 104-foot diameter encompasses an area used mainly for religious services that can be easily converted into a multipurpose room, since its seating is movable.
Legacy Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico fits the bill of a megachurch. It has a current congregation of 5,000; a new Monolithic Dome sanctuary that seats 3,000; a ministry that includes special programs for every age group; televised, recorded services with contemporary music and drama presentations; an elementary school and a bible academy.
Birmingham, Alabama is home to the largest diameter Monolithic Dome church in the world. Built in 2000, Faith Chapel Christian Center measures 280-feet in diameter with a seating capacity of approximately 3,000. The dome encloses 61,575 square feet. The church was designed by Architect Rick Crandall and Dome Technology of Idaho Falls, Idaho built the dome shell.
It took two and a half years from groundbreaking to the first service, but Brooksville Assembly of God in Brooksville, Florida successfully completed their Monolithic Dome church — debt free. Presently 1300 call Brooksville A/G their church home, but the dome offers room to grow with seating capacity for 2300.
A Monolithic Dome that is semi-elliptical in shape, 143’ in diameter and 45’ in height will greet youths arriving for summer camp and adults attending retreats at the Thousand Oaks Retreat Center near Barry, Texas this summer. Established in 1995 by the DFW Church of Christ Jesus in Carrollton, Texas.
The atmosphere around Pattonsburg, Missouri virtually sings with the sounds of construction, excitement and anticipation. After five years of what School Superintendent Gene Walker described as, “more than our fair share of trials and tribulations,” this small, rural community watches the completion of its new school facility — four Monolithic Domes.
Once the 2000 residents of Italy, Texas, where Monolithic is headquartered, passed a $2 million bond for a Multipurpose Center, administrators began researching popular construction of school facilities. Superintendent Mike Clifton said, “Of course we were all familiar with the domes. We had a good overview. But we really had to see for ourselves, so we visited Thousand Oaks — a dome already operating — and we came away convinced.”
It’s not often that a school district gets plan approval and a grant from its state legislature for twice the money the school district asks for. But Grand Meadow, Minnesota ISD #495 did! On September 15, 1998 Grand Meadow voters passed a bond for $8 million for a much needed Kindergarten through Grade 12 facility. For its 400 students and 30 teachers, Grand Meadow’s approved plan calls for five Monolithic Domes.
After rejecting four bond issues in five years, in 2000, the 165 residents of Caledonia, Missouri overwhelmingly approved one. That approval happened because School Superintendent Larry Graves and Elementary Principal Steve Yount launched an intensive, persistent campaign aimed at educating their community about Monolithic Domes.