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Storm Damage Requires Dome Replacement of Sporting Venue
The windstorm and hail that pummeled the University of Northern Iowa in 2009 did more than uproot about 450 trees. It also damaged a number of campus buildings, including inflicting major damage to the roof of the university's UNI-Dome, a multi-purpose sports and recreation facility on the Cedar Falls, Iowa, campus.
The storm did more than damage the facility's roof, though. It also struck at the heart of the facility's highest-profile tenant, the Panthers, which is the university's highly ranked football team. In the last 10 seasons, the team has produced six conference championships, nine top-25 final rankings, three national semifinal appearances, and one national title game appearance.
The team also has turned the UNI-Dome into a nightmare for opponents by posting a 39-6 home record in the last five seasons.
To ensure that home-field advantage in the UNI-Dome continued — as well as to protect the facility's occupants and interior operations and assets — the university decided that after it made repairs to the storm-damaged roofing system, it would replace the roof completely.
The decision was good news for the university's maintenance and operations department because the roof had turned into something of a maintenance money pit in recent years.
"We had quite a few leaks," says John Mirchich, the university's associate director of construction administration. "That was a continuing maintenance item. I think we had the local roofer go up there at least once or twice a year to get the worst areas."