Bubble crews look to avoid collapse at Star Hill facility - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bubble crews look to avoid collapse at Star Hill facility


Blizzard Charlotte caused the dome over the Star Hill Family Athletic Center in Tolland to collapse and with another storm hitting Connecticut, employees spent Wednesday preparing. 

The dome partially collapsed under the weight of the snow in the February blizzard.

"It was too much ice and snow with all came down," said owner Bill MacLean about the more than 100,000-square-foot indoor facility.

Huge steel stanchion poles were designed to support the dome, but the metal structures ended up punching holes in the fabric and the roof came in. There was $300,000 worth of damage.

"So these (steel stanchions) are not going back up," MacLean said. "We have a plan B."

The stanchions are going out and a third backup system has been installed to keep the dome inflated, with pressure being added as this storm approaches.

"We pump it up and heat it," MacLean said.

Hundreds of sports groups including youth and adult soccer, flag football, basketball and lacrosse use the facility.

The facility was finally reopened just a week ago.

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