Dome roof recycled at Indy Parks - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Dome roof recycled at Indy Parks

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Mary Milz/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The fabric roof of the RCA Dome is getting a new lease on life in the city's park system.

Kuntz Stadium on the city's near west side is one of the places you'll be able to see the roof being put to new uses. There are plans to use it as an overhang to cover the stands at the stadium.

Crews deflated the Dome's fabric roof last week. Eight acres of the roof came down, and Indy Parks is getting five acres of that. The first truckload arrived at an Eli Lilly warehouse Friday morning.

The fabric arrived on pallets, in pieces 46 X 46 feet wide. The fabric will be stored at the warehouse until it can be made into umbrellas, canopies, and shade coverings. They will be distributed to playgrounds, pools and even dog parks within the Indy Parks system.

"Basically this material is in really good shape," said Stuart Lowry," Indy Parks director. "It's got some malleability - it folds. So when we cut this out and design where it's gonna go, we can fold it over and just stitch it or weld it down around a frame piece. It's very tough. It's obviously been up in the elements for a number of decades so it's the perfect type of material to put out in our parks system."

Principal Parks Planner Andre Denman said, "I'm excited because we've been looking for unique things to put in our parks. This is also a green use - we're recycling something that's already been there, just not throwing away anything. It's also a great cost savings for the Parks Department with over $1 million worth of material."

As workers unloaded the pallets, Michael Bricker and Mary Ann O'Malley stood nearby watching. Lowry credits the two coming up with the idea.

O'Malley said as demolition plans were announced in mid-summer, "We just couldn't accept the fact the roof was going to a landfill, so we started asking questions and connecting the dots."
Bricker added, "We're both conscious of green and sustainable issues."

The two began researching the possibilities. Bricker said, "We found out what it was made of, who made it, where it came from, how much it decomposes."

Denman said some people in Indy Parks had also wondered about potential reuses for the Dome roof, "so when [O'Malley and Bricker] called, we jumped on it pretty quickly."

Indy Parks is now negotiating with several companies to create the coverings at no cost to the city. Lowry said it's a way to preserve the memory of the Dome.

"So instead of large roof covering the Dome, we will have, hopefully, a piece of the Dome throughout our parks system for people to enjoy," he said.

Seeing the idea unfold, Bricker said, "I'm kind of amazed. We're thrilled."

O'Malley said she learned "all things are possible and you never know until you ask the question. It's when the community comes together that great things happen."

Indy Parks

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