The fall of the 2016-17 school year marks an exciting time at Wasuma Elementary School in Ahwahnee, California. A new domed gymnasium is now in full use. Built to serve the school and the community, it has been years in the making. Located in the Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary School District, a new gym has been in works since a bond was passed in 2006 giving the district funding for new buildings. After exploring different design options, it was determined to be too expensive for the budget. This is, until the dome design was discovered.
“We finally discovered the possibility of building a monolithic dome,” said superintendent Glenn Reid. “The relativity inexpensive cost to build and the high energy efficiency of this type of building was very attractive.”
The construction costs of this 8,000 square foot dome were about half of what a traditional building would have cost. The development of this unique structure had its challenges, taking almost two years to get approved. Most of these delays were due to the fact that this dome is the first of its kind in the state. Despite the delays, officials are pleased with how it turned out.
“The completed building is beautiful,” said Reid. “The community is proud of the new facility.”
In addition to serving the school’s needs, community events will be held in the gym as well. Earlier this year in June the 8th grade and Kindergarten graduations were held in the new building. The first sporting event, a volleyball game, will take place in the coming days. Superintendent Reid stated that being a rural school district, it is helpful to have a gathering place for community meetings.
Interest in the building has been high ever since construction started. Other districts have been scheduling visits to see the building because of their interest in using the design for new schools.
For more information about the school, visit the Wasuma Elementary School website