Historic time for Minot State University

There were plenty of supporters and critics of the air-supported dome inflated recently at Minot State University.

Jabbered about for years, the “bubble” is now a reality, and members of the public are invited to come see for themselves what the $2 million facility looks like inside.

The outside viewing doesn’t take a special invitation. It’s that big white bag on campus that resembles one of those temporary grain storage bags that began dotting the countryside a few years ago. However, this “pillow of the prairie” is a whole lot bigger.

According to MSU, the bubble is 70 feet tall at its apex and its footprint is 86,000 square feet, enough to cover the entire football field and soccer field.

MSU will unveil the air-supported dome at Herb Parker Stadium during an open house Jan. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Community members are asked to enter the dome on the southeast entrance either via the MSU Wellness Center or the stairs leading north from 11th Avenue. Parking will be available along 11th Avenue and in the Gordon B. Olson Library lot.

The event will also honor those who made donations to the approximately $2 million project. The city of Minot’s Community Facilities Fund – that’s us – awarded $1 million and another $1 million was raised by the Minot State Development Foundation from private individuals, foundations, and local businesses.

Say what you will about the bubble, in jest or in all sincerity, but this is a historic time for MSU and the community at large. Hopefully many, many MSU students and non-students too will get years of use out of the bubble.

Winter is here, and now another warm place to commune out of the elements is open for us to enjoy. That alone seems worth celebrating.