Grizz Dome update: Facility reinflated, interior structural damage being assessed


Maggie Willard

The recently-reinflated Grizz Dome athletics facility. Repairs to the exterior of the dome are nearly complete. Interior structural damage is still be assessed.

The Grizz Dome was able to be reinflated last week. At this stage exterior repairs are almost entirely complete and the extent of damages to the interior of the structure are being assessed. The university has not provided an update on costs of the repairs, and it could be several more weeks before the dome can resume normal operations.

Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Event Management Andy Adrianse provided the following update on the situation:

As of about a week ago, the Grizz Dome was able to be inflated again with the vast majority of the exterior repairs having been completed. Work has now shifted to the interior where we are in the process of addressing the many light fixtures that were damaged. Each light has to be assessed to make sure the wiring hasn’t been compromised, in addition to repairing or replacing the fixture itself. This process alone will be the most extensive phase of the repairs as we want to assure that everything is safe before applying electrical service back to the space.  

Additionally we are making repairs to the interior layers of the Dome which includes repairs to the interior skin itself along with an insulative material that runs between the inner and outer layers. Most, if not all of the netting that provides protection to participants and spectators in various areas will need replacement as it was heavily damaged and torn as well.

Most of the sports equipment inside the Dome was destroyed due to the heavy compression. We estimate the overall weight of the Dome material alone exceeds 100,000 pounds. We are in the process of working with the insurance provider for replacement of the equipment. Our Risk Management facilitates the process with our insurance provider and they have been in lockstep up to this point in time.

The repairs and cleanup have been conducted with a combination of the Dome manufacturer service team and our Skilled Tradesman on campus. I can’t comment on the overall costs of the repairs at this time. In terms of when we might expect full occupancy again, I anticipate it could be several more weeks or longer before that happens. Much of the timeline will hinge upon the electrical aspects and most importantly making sure everything is safe. We certainly want to return everything back to normal for the sake of our many athletics programs and community groups as soon as possible.

The Grizz Dome collapsed on Saturday, Feb. 19 due to a campus-wide power outage and winter storm conditions early in the morning. OU sports teams including: baseball, softball, soccer, golf, track and field and cross country all relied on the dome as a practice facility. Repairs began on the facility on Monday, Feb. 28.