Winter is officially over at St. Cloud State University with the takedown of the Husky Dome that happened on April 24, and there was a lot of work for everyone to do to complete everything. Each spring, the St. Cloud State Husky Dome is taken down for the summer by around 200 SCSU athletes and athletic staff, and every single person is needed.
“There’s six massive sections, and each section takes about 120 people to move that section. To get it ready, we take all of the bolts out and all the plates,” Assistant football head coach Steve Grimit said. “There’s 5,000 bolts, there’s 10,000 plates, there’s 26 cables, and each cable takes about 75 people to move.”
Taking down this dome is a group effort and in order for it to work, all of the athletes from various sports including football players, soccer players, baseball players, softball players and others have to pull together. This day is known as “Dome takedown day” to the SCSU athletes and the work for them started at 6 a.m. with the beginning of the deflation and everything was complete by 1 p.m.
“It’s really a group effort, we even had the athletic director, Heather Weems out here this morning and a couple assistant athletic directors out here, it’s like Heather calls it, an ‘all hands on deck kind of a day,’” Grimit said.
The dome took only around 45 minutes to deflate completely, but the work of putting it away takes a lot longer. Each of the athletes have to help fold the roof tarp, unscrew bolts, carry support cables and lift other various pieces in order to help put everything away.
“It takes a lot of manpower. Putting it up takes so many people and if you don’t have those people, it’s honestly the hardest job you’ve ever done and you need the manpower to be able to do it,” junior football offensive lineman Chris Antoine said.
St. Cloud State Athletics has had the Husky Dome for 14 years and by having this dome it gives sports such as football, soccer, softball, baseball, club sports, intramurals and others the opportunity to practice and play games all year long.
With the help of the dome during the severe winter weather, it even gave the softball team a leg up compared to other schools that don’t have that privilege.
“It is a luxury that we get this dome so, if we have to do it just one day, it’s not too bad,” sophomore soccer forward Kate Murphy said. “It’s just another day, we practice pretty early, so it’s not that big of a deal to wake up and extra half an hour early, but it’s easier when all of your teammates are around you too, keeping positive.”
This year’s dome takedown day was originally scheduled to take place on April 16, but because of unforeseen severe weather in mid-April, Athletics decided to push the teardown back eight days. The athletes weren’t disappointed to have to delay the takedown day, because when they’re tearing the dome down, the work seems to never end.
“The thing I hate the most is it being a long process, sometimes you can’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Antoine said.
Grimit said that taking down the dome goes a lot faster than putting up the dome in the fall. There have been years where they got together at 6 a.m. to put up the dome and didn’t finish until 12 a.m. the following morning.
Once the teardown process was finished up, the giant sections of the roof tarp that the athletes rolled up were taken away the following day with a crane and put into a storage building near Husky Stadium.
Even though the hard work of pulling massive cables, folding tarps and heavy lifting is not much fun to do, the athletes work through it as if it’s another day and stay positive.
“Having the cohesiveness that we have is beautiful and being able to kind of work with these people and get it all done is amazing. We wouldn’t be able to do it with any other group,” Antoine said.