Castleton State College now has a sports facility that will provide many with a variety of activities in all weather conditions. The bubble-like dome will be located in Rutland next to the Spartan Arena. Installation is planned to be completed next fall.
The dome was originally located at Middlebury College.
“Castleton was aware that Middlebury had plans of constructing a new field house,” said Castleton’s Dean of Administration Scott Dikeman. “So we inquired about the dome, their plans were to basically just throw it away. It was an opportunity to essentially pick it up for free.”
This air-supported structure will include a turf field with a track around the perimeter as well as hard court floors, said Jeffery Weld of the College Relations Office. According to an article by CSC graduate Courtney Parker in the Rutland Herald, “the dome is a 320-foot-long inflated recreation facility that will expand recreation opportunities not only for the college but for the region.”
This new dome will prove to be beneficial to Castleton students who will use it for intramurals, recreation and varsity sports, school officials said.
“It will also provide opportunities to further Castleton’s entrepreneurship through renting space for events and selling memberships,” said Weld in an email.
But some worry about the location of the dome being off campus.
“Putting the dome off campus seems like a waste. It would benefit the college so much more on campus and it’s pretty much useless to us unless they can provide the necessary transportation,” said athletic training student Colleen Jenkins.
Dikeman and Weld said there was no other option to locate the dome and it will actually be beneficial.
There are height restrictions in Castleton not allowing the 47-foot dome, the Spartan Athletic facility is in a flood plain making it difficult to site it there and run-off could be a problem, as would traffic control, they said.
“When you put up a facility like this there is parking requirements and we just don’t have the space for additional parking,” Dikeman said.
As for getting students to Rutland to use the dome, Dikeman said that’ll be solved.
“We’ll have to work on ways to transport students back and forth and we are looking at ways to do that right now,” he said.
Despite the location issues, the school is excited about the prospect of owning a dome.
“We looked at it as an opportunity” said Dikeman. “It was originally a million dollar facility, and we got it for free.”