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Dome management moves forward with plans to rebuild collapsed sports venue

Anchorage's collapsed indoor sports complex The Dome is one step closer to reopening.

After months of silence and uncertainty, the nonprofit corporation that runs The Dome now says it is moving forward with plans to repair and rebuild the structure.

The inflatable roof of the popular facility collapsed under the weight of heavy snow in January. Initially, management gave an optimistic timeline for reopening: maybe weeks, not months.

As snow melted on Monday, April 10, it revealed the collapsed fabric of the inflatable Dome sports center. (Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)

But now, six months after the collapse, The Dome is ready to report its progress.

"We've been in discussion with the municipal building department," said Mike Martin, the chairman of the nonprofit's board. "We've applied for and submitted our initial engineering and other documents for the permits."

The group submitted an application for a building permit on June 22, according to municipal records. The application must undergo architectural, fire and zoning reviews.

The plan is still to fix the torn fabric and re-inflate the structure, he said.

Martin wouldn't offer a timeline for reopening.

"The simple answer is no. … I could speculate but I'm not going to," he said. "We're hopeful it is quickly."

Users concerned about getting their money back for now-useless yearlong memberships they paid up front for will have to wait a little longer. Some have complained that Dome officials have ignored their questions about refunds.

"A little further down the road, The Dome is expecting to have the ability to either make refunds" to those who want them or issue credits for future use of the repaired structure, Martin said. "Our plan and our intention is to make everybody whole."