CEDAR FALLS - Construction crews will work through the summer and into the fall replacing and repairing the UNI-Dome roof, which was seriously damaged during a wind and hail storm a year ago.
The project is expected to cost about $1.8 million, but that's $2.5 million less than university officials has originally been told. Initial estimates, which would have replaced and repaired the existing stainless steel roof, totaled about $4.3 million.
However, university officials decided to replace the stainless steel with polyvinyl chloride or PVC. The new roof comes with a 30-year warranty and annual inspections. The university is responsible for a $100,000 deductible, though Doug Jensen, the school's associate director of facilities and operations, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help cover the deductible. Travelers Insurance Co. will pay for the rest.
John Mirchich, associate director of construction administration, said the new roof should be watertight.
"We had a lot of problems with the old stainless steel. The longer it was around the more it moved relative to the next piece and the more movement there was the more cracks would open up," Murchich said.
Once the PVC is in place it will be covered with the same fabric that topped the stainless steel dome.
"The only change people will notice is they will no longer see the silver from the stainless steel. It will be all white, so it will go back to what it looked like with the soft top," Jensen said, referring to the Dome's original air-inflated canvass roof which was eventually replaced after it was torn and collapsed in a Dec. 7, 1994 snowstorm.
Work on the project began earlier this summer and is expected to wrap up in October. Mirchich said the contractor, Schwickert's of Mankato, Minn., has worked Saturdays and will bring in additional manpower to keep the timeline despite the exceptionally rainy summer.
Jensen said work will not interfere with other Dome activities, like the UNI football season.