UNI Panthers

Iowa regents consider plan to replace UNI-Dome fabric roof

(FILE) The University of Northern Iowa's Unidome is shown Tuesday, March 24, 1998, with the inflatable roof almost compl
(FILE) The University of Northern Iowa’s Unidome is shown Tuesday, March 24, 1998, with the inflatable roof almost completely removed. A new roof will be installed by the start of football season.

CEDAR FALLS — The University of Northern Iowa is pushing plans to replace the UNI-Dome’s fabric roof, which was installed more than 20 years ago.

The estimated $7 million to $8 million project was advanced by the state Board of Regents’ property and facilities committee earlier this week, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported. Regents are expected to approve the plan at a meeting Wednesday.

Michael Hager, UNI’s senior vice president for finance and operations, told the committee that the project would replace only the fabric center portion of the roof of that stadium that opened in 1976. The rest of the roof is a plastic polymer that was installed in 2010 and is under warranty until 2040, he said.

The fabric portion was found to be deteriorating in December 2019. Minor repairs were done last year, but a consultant advised that it needs to be completely replaced by 2024.

“That fabric was last replaced in ’99, and it lasted 23 years,” Hager said. “This particular fabric we’re moving into year 22, so we’re approaching (the end of) the useful life.”

Funding for the replacement could come from private donations, the field house fund, general fund and athletics department.

“We haven’t finalized the source of funding yet,” Hager said. “The next step would be to hire a design professional for the project.”

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