CLEVELAND, Tenn. - The Raider Dome came crashing down in the predawn hours Monday as part of demolition to make way for Cleveland High Schools' new gymnasium.
"We only learned of Raider Dome's demolition after it happened," said Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of Cleveland City Schools. "The contractor wanted to keep the event a secret as a way to maintain public safety."
The school's 50-year-old landmark was closed in December after receiving an unfavorable structural analysis and was scheduled to be demolished over the summer.
Originally, the contractor thought that the dome could be knocked down in a piecemeal fashion, but that plan changed after gathering more data on the dome's structural integrity, said Hal Taylor, director of maintenance and transportation for the city school system.
Ringstaff said explosives were not used in taking down the dome roof. Instead, backhoes clawed holes on the structure's south side, causing the roof to pitch toward Raider Drive.
Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.
Previous news report: