Crews were scheduled to start dome construction on Sunday, November 29. But sadly, the dome will not be going up this year.
After last year’s stay at home order and losing $45,000 of revenue, “the financial gamble was too risky to take with the uncertainty of our current Covid situation,” states Athletic Director Mr. Daren Messmore.
This year is the first year in five years that the dome hasn’t gone up. The dome usually goes up during the last weekend in October. However this year would have been different because the school had to wait until the football season was finished.
It also takes money to put up and maintain the dome. “It can cost up to $125,000 to set the dome up and take the dome down in the spring. I hire a crew of 50-60 people to help set up and take down the dome,” says Athletic Director Mr. Daren Messmore. “It also costs on average $20,000/month for utilities.” This is all possible because the school has sports organizations who rent the dome out. Mainly, soccer organizations rent it out but also lacrosse, youth baseball, and ultimate frisbee organizations.
The dome isn’t just for renters, Providence sports as well as the students and staff also take advantage of this resource. During winter, the baseball team uses the dome to condition and practice before their season starts. Tanner Kehl ’21 says the baseball team takes advantage of the dome time “whether it is going in with a few friends to hit the cages, or throw a ball around to get our arms ready for the season.” Kehl points out that the dome gives the Lion’s baseball team an edge over other schools who do not have a dome to practice in during the off-season. Nate Fish ’23 used the dome for playing football with friends.
In addition, PE teachers will sometimes use the dome. Mrs. Colleen Carron says, “Over the past few years of having the dome we have planned units counting on using the dome.” They are working through it, always thinking of the Providence PE motto, “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken.”
For some, this is the first year at Providence and they have no experience with the dome. Mr. Brian Cosgriff, who started this year at Providence, heard talks of having the dome and using it. He comments, “I was kind of looking forward to seeing what it was all about, and how we could use it.”
Although not being able to use the dome this winter is disappointing, PA will welcome the dome when it returns.