Edina is getting a new Golf Dome, and this year’s model should be safer, more comfortable and more efficient than the old Braemar Golf Dome that burned and collapsed a year ago.
City Council members last week unanimously approved construction of a new dome that should open by November. It will cost about $3.58 million, with insurance covering most of the cost. The remaining $982,000 will be covered by debt financed by revenue from the city’s golf operations.
The council move ends a lengthy drought for golfers who used the old dome for practice during cold and inclement weather.
After the building and its clubhouse burned in February 2012, city officials at first hoped a new dome would be ready within six months. But prolonged negotiations with the city’s insurance carriers over damages dragged a final decision on reconstruction into this year.
City Manager Scott Neal told council members that the delay was worth it. The city’s persistence resulted in insurance payments that increased from an initial offer of about $930,000 to a final sum of $2.6 million.
Now, he said, “we want to build to the same scale, but more efficiently and with modern techniques and materials.” The resulting building should be a higher-quality structure, he said.
The old dome dated from 1983. Its replacement will be the same size and will be built on the smoothed-out concrete base of the old dome.
It will have a fire suppression system to protect against another devastating blaze. Instead of a wood driving deck for golf, the new deck will be steel and concrete.
The artificial turf, which is used not only by golfers but by lacrosse and soccer teams that rent the facility, will be separated from the concrete base by padding and be much thicker than the old turf.
Council members supported two other suggested upgrades to the new dome that Parks and Recreation Director Ann Kattreh said would make the dome more efficient.
For $146,000, the city will purchase dome fabric that has a coating that sheds snow, ice and dirt, adding about five years to the dome fabric’s usual 15-year life. It also should make the dome brighter inside, Kattreh said.
The city also opted to insulate the walls of the dome to about 50 feet off the ground at a cost of $82,000, which should save energy.
Building codes and environmental requirements have changed since the old dome was built, and that contributed to the cost of the new dome, Kattreh said. New water pipes have to be installed to feed fire suppression systems, and an underground water retention pond will be built under the parking lot to handle stormwater drainage.
A new clubhouse also will be built. Unlike the old one, which was attached to its dome and was heavily damaged during the fire, the new 1,900-square-foot building will be linked to the dome by a covered walkway that should provide enough distance to protect it if the dome ever were damaged by high winds or storms.
Construction should start in May and be done by Nov. 1.