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Timetable set for Bubble reconstruction

RINDGE — Repairs to the Northfields Activity Center, commonly referred to as the Bubble, will be completed early this summer, Franklin Pierce University officials said late last week.

High winds and a large amount of snow left by the snowstorm on Feb. 9 caused the Bubble to deflate. After assessment from the university’s insurance company, the university has decided to rebuild the Bubble using a new fabric shell.

The university’s estimate for a summer completion takes into account the manufacturing of the fabric, removal of debris, assessment of damages to the floor and the equipment inside, and possibly the replacement of the floor.

In the meantime, the university has arranged for a temporary facility to be brought in on March 25, and will remain on campus until the semester ends on May 16. The temporary facility — a heated weight room large enough to accommodate the student population — will include cardiovascular and nautilus equipment.

Since the Bubble was destroyed by the storm, the university has opened other facilities for students competing in intramural sports and recreation activities.

“We are making every effort to ensure that services are not disrupted and that work on the new Bubble takes place as quickly and efficiently as possible,” University President Dr. James Birge said in a press release issued on Thursday. “Our staff has been working very hard to make all the necessary arrangements, and our insurance company has been very responsive.”

The university expects recreational activities for students and community members to resume when the new structure is completed.

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