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By Karen Herland
Concordia has found an innovative way to increase both its intramural programs and extend the season for athletes at Loyola by constructing an air-supported dome to shelter the south field from November through April.
Work on preparing the foundations for the structure has already begun. The project is expected to be operational before the snow flies.
The dome, the first for the Quebec university network, will be ideal for indoor soccer, ultimate Frisbee, rugby, football and even golf. “This is a pilot year but it is clear that every team will benefit from year-round practice,” said Katie Sheahan, Director of Recreation and Athletics.
Currently, there is one gymnasium at Loyola and demand for the facility is high.
The dome will cover an area 450 by 240 feet, the standard size of a football field. However, for practices or training, up to four activities can be managed simultaneously on the surface.
The state-of-the-art dome was planned carefully. “We took every opportunity to optimize the project and make it as energy efficient as possible,” said Sheahan. Those elements included the R-value of the roof and the installation of the inflation units. The dome will be inflated by a system located on the south hillside of the field.
Concordia is looking to share this resource. “We’ve already reached out to three to five hundred secondary schools, CEGEPs, universities and other groups to let them know the space will be available,” said Sheahan. That will be followed by a surface mail campaign.
Anyone wishing to rent the facilities can contact Alberto Moreira at ext. 8860
or by email.