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Rhinelander

Hodag Dome inflated, work to proceed on interior


Story By Andrew Goldstein
Local Sports Published 10/17/2020 10:54PM
Rhinelander - A dome that defines a community.

That's what the Rhinelander School District is hoping for in their new Hodag Dome, which was fully inflated Saturday evening.

Construction crews finally got a window with winds under 10 miles per hour where they could safely inflate the dome. That inflation was originally scheduled for last weekend, but had to be pushed back due to inclement weather.

Rhinelander is planning to hold gymnastics meets in the dome this year and may end up moving wrestling in there too.

There's plenty of room for it; the Hodag Dome is more than 128,000 square feet.

That makes it one of the largest air-supported domes in North America.

But the plans for this space go beyond just sports.

"We've had conversations about being able to host birthday parties and doing nerf tag and laser tag type of stuff in there too that would be open to the community to be able to rent out the space for a party like that," said school board member Mike Roberts.

"We're going to look on this day for decades and say this was one of the greatest days for Rhinelander," said Hodag Schools Foundation president Dave Heck. "Just to see all the cars coming out here right now just to watch it inflate and to see the excitement in the community is just unbelievable."

The dome is scheduled to be a polling place on election day.

Dome management is in talks to host a craft fair in there already.

Work will now begin on the interior of the dome, including the hanging of lights and the attachment of entrance points.

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