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Carrier Dome Renovations Hit Milestone as Roof Takes Shape, Air Conditioning Nears Completion

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Syracuse University
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The Carrier Dome renovations have been long discussed for the better part of four years, but Friday the project hit a major milestone. According to SU Chief Facilities Officer Pete Sala, the construction of a new roof atop the dome has reached a second phase, and construction is expected to be completed on schedule on September 18.

Sala says the skeleton currently on the roof will quickly turn into a single structure, before his crew adds a new fabric topping. He says all the material they need is at their disposal.

“The thing that’s the most comforting to me is everything we need to finish is here. We are just waiting for a couple panels, but we know they are very close to Syracuse for the fabric group. But again, those things are going very well.”

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Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
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WAER News

While the roof is set to be finished on schedule, what is ahead of schedule is the dome’s long awaited air conditioning system. Sala says the progress on the system has gone far beyond his expectations.

“Air conditioning is moving really, really well. I’d sat at this point we are well over 70-80% where we wanted to be months from now.  That project is going very well and ahead. We have enough of the air conditioning done that we’ll be able to air condition some spaces with the new system this fall. Very excited about that. We weren’t planning on being at that point until May of ’21.”  

Other pieces of the more than $200 million renovation include the third largest indoor video board in the country, expected to be 62 ½ feet wide and 20 feet high. New restrooms, lighting, and sound systems are also being installed, as well as accommodations for fans with mobile disabilities. The building’s air filtration system has also been updated in the age of COVID-19.

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Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
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WAER News
Workers can be seen assembling the skeleton of the roof.

Sala says that there are a lot of moving parts to the job, but remains confident that everything will fall into place.

I have a lot of confidence in us hitting that date. And we’ll know more, every week, every day allows us to say, ‘okay, we hit that mark,’ ‘okay maybe this mark we didn’t hit it perfectly, but we’re going to hit it tomorrow. And because were hitting it tomorrow we can also be doing this over here at the same time.’ So it’s the puzzle pieces right now, but it’s working.”

The Syracuse Orange is expected to open its home football season on September 26 against Georgia Tech, just eight days after the expected completion date.