Although the Dome hasn’t seen much use in the past few weeks, the space will continue to be used as an isolation space until campus no longer needs one.
“We've had so few positive students who've wanted to remain on campus, we've actually been able to keep them in Ockenga (Honors Lodge), so they're in a house rather than the dome” said Jesse Brown, dean of students and current head of the COVID hotline response.
Although students found the lodge more comfortable, Brown says the plan is to give back the lodge to the honors program this summer. Next semester, the Dome will be the primary location for COVID-positive students who want to remain on campus to isolate.
Haakonsen Hall (the Haak) will still be used for COVID evaluation, but unless the Dome is full, people who are in quarantine but have not yet tested positive stay in the Haak isolated from one another.
The Haak and dome will likely stay in use until Taylor stops needing isolation and quarantine spaces unless a much better solution presents itself. This is simply because these spaces are not in use by any other programs right now.
The Dome was once used as the campus bookstore, but after the construction of the Bishop’s Nook, it stands vacant. Maintenance stores some things like the benches in the dome but no program on campus has a current need for the space.
Recently the benches which were being stored in the dome were moved back to the Stu. Brown says this has nothing to do with moving COVID cases out of the dome, it is just because seating capacity was increased per updated COVID guidelines.
The Student Senate is working on potential uses for the dome after COVID, but they declined to comment on future plans yet.