DAVIS (CBS13) – Some on campus are calling it the end of era; the domes at UC Davis are set to close this summer. Built in the 1970s, the domes have served as a demonstration of eco-friendly living ever since.
Among the traditional brick and mortar residence halls, there are white, dome-shaped buildings that are hidden in what looks like their own private garden, which seems to be somewhat out of place. But, they’ve been around a lot longer than the UC Davis students who live inside them.
Built in 1972, partly by students, the Domes commune is made up of 14 polyurethane fiberglass buildings, which is currently home to 26 students.
But now students are being told their homes, their domes, are doomed.
“We had a consultant come out, and the foam is degrading in all 14 domes and delaminating in seven of them,” says Ramona Davis, housing student.
That means, according to student housing, the domes are falling apart. And the students will have to move out by the end of July while the university comes up with a plan to build new domes. But, that could take up to five years, and students believe they have a solution that doesn’t involve leaving.
“What we’re looking at is how to make small fixes to make them habitable for the next 3-5 years while we get the new structures built,” explains Patrick Dragon, Domes resident.
But students are fighting an uphill battle in an effort to convince the university to let the domes remain their homes.
“At this point we’re looking for alternative solutions so we can minimize some of the liability issues student housing is worried about,” say school administrators.
Students are also trying to get their own estimates on how much it would cost to make these temporary fixes. The residents pay about $200 a month to live in the domes, and students in the residence halls can pay four times that much.