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FPU still assessing damage to The Bubble

Franklin Pierce University's recreational facility, known as The Bubble, collapsed early Saturday due to strong winds and heavy snow.

(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

Franklin Pierce University's recreational facility, known as The Bubble, collapsed early Saturday due to strong winds and heavy snow. (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

RINDGE — Many of the details surrounding the collapse of Franklin Pierce University’s North Fields Activity Center, known as The Bubble, remained unclear Wednesday, including the cost of repairs and a time frame for when the facility will be fully operational.

Lisa Murray, director of university relations and creative services, said Wednesday the school’s comprehensive insurance policy will cover the costs associated with repairing The Bubble. The time frame, she said, would be known within the next two weeks.

For university officials to make a thorough assessment of the damage caused by the weekend Nor’easter, FPU must first remove all of the snow covering The Bubble’s architectural fabric and fallen frame, Murray said.

“Every measure is being taken to ensure that the same services that the students and the community are accustomed to will be arranged for at alternate venues. The university is addressing any prospective changes in scheduled events on an individual basis,” Murray wrote.

The Bubble collapsed early Saturday morning due to strong winds and heavy snow, according to university officials. The Bubble is an air-inflated structure that covers 72,000 square feet and reaches seven stories high.

The recreational facility is used by both university students and staff, as well as 360 residents from across the Monadnock region who pay monthly dues to use the facility. FPU also has a number of daily users who each pay $5 to use The Bubble, Murray said.

Saturday marked the second time in 12 years that the structure collapsed under the weight of heavy snow. The first time The Bubble collapsed was in 2001. It took then-Franklin Pierce College roughly three months to repair the structure.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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