Pupils out in cold after sports dome collapse

First published in News
Last updated

SNOW and heavy rain have wrecked a giant inflatable dome that was used as an indoor sports centre.

The PVC dome at St Joseph’s High School, in Chorley New Road, Horwich, was officially opened by former Bolton Wanderers’ manager Sam Allardyce in 2001, and cost £400,000, but collapsed in the bad weather at the weekend — despite efforts by staff to keep it up.

The PVC cover fell on to light fittings, tearing holes in the fabric which will prevent it being inflated again.

When it collapsed, the weight of the material also damaged the lights and some equipment underneath.

It was used as a sports centre by the school as well as various sports and community groups. Staff at the school say they are staying optimistic that they can repair the dome, but the cost could be huge.

The balloon-style dome had provided a cover for an 60 metre by 40 metre all-weather pitch, which was used for a range of sports, including football, tennis, badminton and athletics.

It had a fan, which had kept it inflated for the past 11 years, but it is thought the weight of the snow on Friday, the melted snow on Saturday and the heavy rain on Sunday proved too much for it. Headteacher Leo Conley said the dome had been weighed down by Friday’s snowfall and on Saturday, staff had pricked tiny holes in it to drain the melted snow.

He said it had not fully re-inflated again on Sunday and was unable to cope with the heavy rainfall.

Mr Conley added: “The fan has been running continually for 11 years and that meant it wasn’t strong enough to keep it up. The poor thing has had everything thrown at it, blizzards, snow and heavy rain. We are hoping to re-inflate it in the future and have it back in action as soon as possible but at the moment we just don’t know. We are staying optimistic and looking at costs. The pupils have been wonderful and already suggested a sponsored silence to raise money.”

Comments (10)

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5:00pm Thu 31 Jan 13

MarkAllRead says...

What a let down.
What a let down. MarkAllRead
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Thu 31 Jan 13

always lancastrian says...

So it all worked fine for 11 years and the day after staff pricked holes in it failed to inflate?
Am I missing something here, or could these two things be linked?
So it all worked fine for 11 years and the day after staff pricked holes in it failed to inflate? Am I missing something here, or could these two things be linked? always lancastrian
  • Score: 0

6:06pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Kayj21 says...

Why did they **** holes in it? How can it possibly drain the snow away? It's a dome so wouldn't it have just slid of with the rain!?! Like to know who told them that. If that's what they do every time it snowed over 11 years than no wonder it is struggling to inflate now.
Why did they **** holes in it? How can it possibly drain the snow away? It's a dome so wouldn't it have just slid of with the rain!?! Like to know who told them that. If that's what they do every time it snowed over 11 years than no wonder it is struggling to inflate now. Kayj21
  • Score: 0

6:07pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Kayj21 says...

Don't know why there are **** in my last comment I didn't put a swear word I said poke holes.
Don't know why there are **** in my last comment I didn't put a swear word I said poke holes. Kayj21
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Thu 31 Jan 13

steveG says...

Kayj21 wrote:
Don't know why there are **** in my last comment I didn't put a swear word I said poke holes.
Poke can sometimes be rude.
[quote][p][bold]Kayj21[/bold] wrote: Don't know why there are **** in my last comment I didn't put a swear word I said poke holes.[/p][/quote]Poke can sometimes be rude. steveG
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Thu 31 Jan 13

M J P Smith says...

"Poke", ooh matron!
"Poke", ooh matron! M J P Smith
  • Score: 0

7:57am Fri 1 Feb 13

piszoff says...

Pupils out in cold after sports dome collapse. Don't know they have been born, had to run a broken leg off when I was at school. Went to St Joey's as well
Pupils out in cold after sports dome collapse. Don't know they have been born, had to run a broken leg off when I was at school. Went to St Joey's as well piszoff
  • Score: 0

9:01am Fri 1 Feb 13

tony000 says...

if they put holes in it am i thick coz am sure it would deflate.i wonder if this would stop insurance from paying out as it was self inflicted .
if they put holes in it am i thick coz am sure it would deflate.i wonder if this would stop insurance from paying out as it was self inflicted . tony000
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Harry-Joe says...

Its sounds bad putting holes in it but I would assume its like a bouncy castle and has small holes which the air escapes from, hence the fan being on constant for 11 years.

My question would be.... why if they knew heavy snow fall was on the way did they not empty the contents from inside and turn the fan off, letting it deflate? then simply wait for the snow to melt away before re-inflating it?
Sureley that would have saved all this.
Its sounds bad putting holes in it but I would assume its like a bouncy castle and has small holes which the air escapes from, hence the fan being on constant for 11 years. My question would be.... why if they knew heavy snow fall was on the way did they not empty the contents from inside and turn the fan off, letting it deflate? then simply wait for the snow to melt away before re-inflating it? Sureley that would have saved all this. Harry-Joe
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Fri 1 Feb 13

cliff4treasurer says...

They are teachers,spent all there lives at school so not much common sense,
Plenty of "O" (LE) levels though!
They are teachers,spent all there lives at school so not much common sense, Plenty of "O" (LE) levels though! cliff4treasurer
  • Score: 0

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