DakotaDome roof nearing completion

DakotaDome roof nearing completion Construction on the new DakotaDome roof is approaching "substantial completion," according to Ken Schmidt, director of planning and construction at The University of South Dakota.

All structural steel is in place, the last of the original, 22-year-old fabric has been removed and installation of the new, white membrane is about 50 percent complete.

"People driving by from dawn until dusk will see the M.J. Dalsin roofing crew of Sioux Falls working 12 to14 hours a day, seven days a week putting roofing insulation and membrane material on to get it done before USD's homecoming so that it will be as watertight as possible," Schmidt said.

The last cable supporting the old fabric was cut and removed on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Other than a few remnants on the Dome's perimeter, the fabric roof, which had acted as a tarp protecting the building's interior since it was deflated June 27, was cut away and removed last week. Arrangements for removal of the temporary construction tower in the center will be finalized in the near future.

New sports lighting equipment will be in place and the football turf re-installed in time for the Dakota Day football game Oct. 13, according

to Schmidt. All life safety systems will be complete and functioning for safe occupancy, and given good weather, the new roof should be 95 percent water tight, with only a few remaining detail points on the perimeter left to be completed shortly thereafter.

Planning for restoration of staff and classroom activity is also taking place, with an anticipated move-in date by late October. Site work and landscaping will continue into the fall and next spring, as original planned and scheduled.

Although the sound system will be functioning by Dakota Day, Schmidt said that audiences should expect louder than normal performances for another few months.

"Acoustical dampening materials will be installed next spring as originally planned, in order to allow detailed sound testing to be done with the new roof in place," he said. "Our goal is to provide a good balance acoustically between sporting events, music events and speaking events that may be held, and we need audiences in there, the turf to be down and everything functioning and happening so that we can most cost-effectively design the acoustical treatment."

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