Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse University said that it is aiming for the entire Carrier Dome to have air conditioning by the end of May.
The school announced the timetable in a press release celebrating the completion of the current stage of renovations. The building has been going through substantial improvements for more than six months that include a new roof, new scoreboard, new sound and lighting systems and other upgrades.
The school said previously that the air conditioning portion of the improvements has been running ahead of schedule and that some areas are already able to be cooled. The areas in which air conditioning is already available include the press box, as well as more locker rooms, luxury suites and mechanical rooms than ever before.
The date set in the university release for facility-wide air conditioning matches a date that Syracuse University Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer Pete Sala had mentioned in previous interviews as a goal.
Last month, Sala noted that the initial timetable that the school had set including having air conditioning in only select spaces by May 2021.
The amenity will substantially improve the comfort for fans early in the football season, when the environment inside the Carrier Dome is often sweltering, as well as improve the climate for events in the late spring and summer. It will also end the jokes about how a facility named for an air conditioning company lacked the amenity.
In an interview with Matt Park, the play-by-play voice of Syracuse football and basketball, Chancellor Kent Syverud noted the new roof will be able to be lit up at night, creating an impressive appearance.
“I do think it’s actually an iconic roof now too, in a different way from all directions,” Syverud said. “I’m pleasantly surprised by it. You all still haven’t seen what it’s like when it’s lit up at night. It’ll be even more iconic then.”
He noted that the school continues to plan a Phase 2 of the renovations. Syracuse hasn’t set a timetable or detailed specific improvements that will be included, though it has discussed possibilities. Syverud reiterated many of the expected ones.
“I think this has been a long time in planning and we’ve done what we could responsibly afford to do as fast as we could do it,” Syverud told Park. “There’s still more to do to make it be a great fan experience. There’s still a need to re-seat, to work with some of the concourses, and those plans are in process. I think we’ve proven with this stage we’re going to do it right as we could do it. I expect more good things to come.”
Syverud also noted the school plans to make the space between the Carrier Dome and the Barnes Center an indoor tailgating space. The school recently received a $7 million donation from Board of Trustee member Bob and Diane Miron, part of which is earmarked for that area, which will be named “Miron Victory Court.”
In addition to the roof, new scoreboard, sound and lighting systems, the school has made upgrades to better comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act that include adding push-button doors, closed captioning for the scoreboard and bathrooms and concessions stands that are ADA compliant.
The roof was scheduled to be completed by last Friday. In the release, Syracuse said it has spent the past week making sure the building is ready to host its first event on Saturday, a football game between Syracuse and Georgia Tech.
The finishing touches that have been accomplished include raising the scoreboard to its appropriate height, installing updated video boards and testing the lighting and sound systems.
The school also said it conducted testing on the roof to ensure it is water-tight and can accommodate the snow of a Central New York winter.
The first phase of the school’s renovations is scheduled to be completed by 2022. In addition to the work already accomplished, the school plans to make upgrades to air conditioning, restroom and concession areas.
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