Misericordia Set to Begin Dome Construction


A rendered prototype of the sports dome that will be built on Misericordia’s campus

Matthew Yula, Reporter

A new multi-million dollar dome, covering the field behind Mangelsdorf Field, will solve congestion and keep athletes dry, officials say.

Athletes and coaches at Misericordia are frustrated with the Anderson Center, the current indoor practice option on campus which limits practice plans drastically because of small space and low ceilings.

Opening the schedule for Anderson will provide more of the student body an opportunity to utilize the main court and the synthetic for recreational activities. Many students look for times to use Anderson but can never find any because practices take up most of the day.

Sophomore baseball player Steven Rinda believes the dome will benefit athletes. Most athletic teams practice outside only three or four times before their first game, which does not allow teams to be fully prepared by that time.

“For Misericordia athletics as a whole, the dome will allow other teams to get the same level of preparation that was once not possible,” said Rinda.

Rinda described the current state of the baseball practice facilities.

“Currently, the baseball team has to field ground balls off the basketball court in Anderson, which does not truly simulate how a ground ball will behave on grass or dirt,” he said.

Time slot scheduling for the dome will be based on season, so in the fall both soccer and field hockey have priority and, in the spring, both lacrosse teams have priority. After priority, it will be scheduled much like how Anderson is scheduled now, allowing time slots for people to reserve.

One of the most difficult things Director of Athletics Chuck Edkins and his committee had to do was figure out the size of the dome.

Their first approval was 300 feet by 150 feet, but they felt this would be too small, so they wanted to go bigger. The height of the new dome was going to be 79 feet, but no structure in Dallas Township can exceed 55 feet in height.

Edkins is certainly not without help, though.

“I’m working [with] a committee of six or seven of us, two members of athletic staff, our vice president of finance, director of grounds, our architect, and our engineer,” said Edkins.

The project has all the permits it needs; officials are now waiting until students leave for the summer because of safety concerns. Many sports use that field at this time, and it would be unsafe to have construction going on while practices are happening.

This new project will also benefit the community.

One of the missions at Misericordia is to provide not only for the community of students, but also for people in surrounding areas but, as a result of congestion from athletic practices in Anderson, the university hasn’t been able to provide much of that.

“The other piece of the dome is the opportunity to live our mission and to provide our community and the external community some use of Anderson and some use of the dome,” said Edkins.