Rendering: Woodsboro ISD

Rendering: Woodsboro ISD (Lee Gray)

Woodsboro’s Own Superdome

If you’ve ever been to an inflation of a commercial dome structure, you know how exciting it can be to watch a huge Airform expand before your very eyes. For the students of Woodsboro Elementary, the excitement was contagious. During the recent inflation of their South Texas school district’s new multipurpose center, they got into the spirit by chanting: “Blow it up, blow it up.”

Television stations were on hand to capture the moment, and a reporter from the Refugio County Press later wrote about the big day and the events leading up to it. Superintendent Steven Self told the newspaper that the dome’s energy efficiency was one of the biggest selling points for the district. “We were looking to build an air-conditioned gymnasium but the problem was, if we built it, the district couldn’t afford to run it,” Self said.

In contrast the Monolithic Dome gym he visited in Italy, Texas was cool in the middle of summer even with the air conditioning turned off. “It was like being in a Styrofoam cooler.” A school board member’s visit to a dome school in Oklahoma sealed the deal. “The best salesmen were the other superintendents,” Self said.

A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency turned out to be the icing on the cake. Since the building meets FEMA standards for near absolute protection from tornadoes and hurricanes, and will double as a community disaster shelter, FEMA provided a $1.5 million grant to help pay for its construction.