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I would argue that one of the most recognizable inflatables outside of inflatable games or bounce houses would be the covering that a number of field houses use across the nation. Anyone who has ever ran track and field or played tennis in the winter knows exactly what I’m talking about. A lot of these indoor field areas have inflatable covers to keep out adverse weather conditions so that certain sports teams can practice in the offseason as well. In a lot of situations, these inflatable domes are a great idea for schools that have long, cold seasons.
However, one school board has actually voted against the idea of installing an inflatable dome over tennis courts in Washington, according to the Peninsula Daily News:
“Allison Hastings, Peninsula Tennis Club president, Johnson and several others supporting the proposal to place the 120-foot by 296-foot structure, known as the “bubble,” on aging Sequim School District tennis courts saw the school board vote 5-0 to burst the proposal after making their plea. Johnson and Hastings complained that there had not been enough dialog between the tennis club and school officials, with such issues as fire safety and a fire sprinkler system coming up only just before a decision was made.”
Even though the dome was a good idea and the money was available for it to be built, the upkeep costs were of concern to the board:
“But School Board members questioned whether the tennis club would pay for utilities associated with heating, lighting and air pressure to keep the dome inflated, which Bentley estimated would cost at least $25,000 a year — and possibly as much as $60,000 — to keep it heated.”
The argument is that the dome would not be heated, so a good chuck of this cost would be removed from this tally, but the school district’s budget shortfall makes it difficult to assume any unexpected financial needs for the dome