Hooksett, NH “The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness” said Milan Kundera, a French writer of Czech origin. He may not have had the New Hampshire SportsDome in mind when he spoke these words, but southern New Hampshire now has its own vaulted dome for the happiness of children and adults alike as they can play their favorite sports indoors. Spearheaded by local youth-sports supporters Joel Hatin and Frank Bizzarro, the concept of an indoor sports dome, originally explored in 2012, has come to fruition as a state-of-the-art, elite turf surface complex located on Benton Rd.
The facility is an air-supported structure with a translucent roof (allowing in natural light) above a 350 foot by 230-foot turf field, with a maximum ceiling height of 72 feet at its center. The field can be divided in half providing two soccer fields for 9 versus 9 play, or one full-size 11 versus 11 field. The turf will be lined for multiple sports to support programs like men’s and women’s lacrosse, field hockey, soccer, flag football, baseball, softball, and more. The New Hampshire SportsDome is heated and insulated for winter use and air-conditioned for summer play. As the term “air-supported” suggests, the structure is held up by air pressure, maintained by a high-tech system of blowers and controls.
Regional engineering firm TFMoran, Inc. was retained to provide local and state permitting services, civil and traffic engineering, land surveying, landscape architecture and construction administration services for the new sports dome. Construction was led by general contractor Capital Construction LLC and site contractor Severino Trucking Co., Inc. with the air inflated structure provided by The Farley Group.
“As you might expect, proposing a first-of-its-kind structure in New Hampshire wasn’t without some unique hurdles.” said TFMoran principal Nicholas Golon, PE. “Given its magnitude, siting the structure to minimize sightlines from adjacent properties, while maintaining required setbacks, and providing the necessary utility infrastructure were challenging issues. Another significant element was snow removal, to make sure that snowfall would not pose any risk of damage to the structure. Site grading and drainage were carefully designed so that snow and snowmelt could be conveyed safely and efficiently away from the structure and surrounding parking through an open drainage system of swales and infiltration basins.
“Luckily, the design and construction team had incredibly dedicated individuals working on the project, who carefully considered all options to make this project a reality,” said Golon, “it was a real team effort!” Many members of the project team along with friends and family attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on March 1, 2021 that was highlighted with remarks from governor Chris Sununu, Hooksett town administrator Andre Garron and Joel Hatin, CEO NH SportsDome. “The masks may be hiding the smiles, but you can still see and feel the joy here today. It is always rewarding when you are able to turn someone’s dream into reality.” said Dana Adams PE, owner of Capital Construction.
The New Hampshire SportsDome project team
TFMoran civil/site design/permitting/engineering/landscape/surveying
Berard Martel Architecture, Inc. architect
Capital Construction LLC general contractor
New Hampshire SportsDome owner
Severino Trucking Co. Inc. site contractor
Southern Poured Concrete Construction foundation
Liberty Electric Inc. electric