What’s REALLY under the Dome?

Probably big rocks and spilled beer, says director of operations Steve Maki, likely only partly in jest.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority had its first public meeting tonight on the environmental evaluation of the proposed $1B stadium project where the Metrodome now stands. Opponents of the site, like Ramsey County boosters, had hinted darkly last year that the Metrodome environs might share a hidden past with the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site: lurking soil contamination that might drive up the cost of the project.

Testing hasn’t begun yet, but stadium officials don’t think soil contamination going to be a major factor — likely not the equivalent of the hazards at the TCAAP site, which the Vikings actually favored at one point, despite the TCAAP’s “Superfund site” designation.

Courtesy MSFC

But the Metrodome is not far from the Mississippi, and was likely once part of the river bluff. That might account for some of the whopper geology on the site. Back when the Dome was originally under construction, crews found a massive, quarter-million pound granite boulder sitting in the site. The Dome’s official history has it thusly:

 On January 2, 1980, shortly after excavation had started, bulldozers encountered an immovable force – a 250,000-pound granite rock, believed to have been there for about 11,000 years. The rock was eventually moved to a bank in Plymouth, MN, dubbed “Plymouth Rock,” and construction continued.

Maki told MPR’s Matt Sepic that some other monster rocks may still be lurking under the parking lot just east of the stadium. You can read his story here.

  • Jim G

    This student to counselor ratio is another metric showing how Minnesota kids pay the price for under-funding our public schools over the past ten years. Forty-eighth in the country shows we need to improve, don’t you agree?

    • sternwheeler

      No, jim.

      Washington, D.C. has the worst school system in the country, and yet is in second place in the counselor race, 4 times as many as Minnesota. Mississippi and Alabama, also worst schools in America, middle of the pack with twice as many counselors as MN. Arkansas, another worst, is in eleventh place.

      Obviously there is no correlation whatsoever. Or, less is better.

  • Jim G

    This student to counselor ratio is another metric showing how Minnesota kids pay the price for under-funding our public schools over the past ten years. Forty-eighth in the country shows we need to improve, don’t you agree?

    • sternwheeler

      No, jim.

      Washington, D.C. has the worst school system in the country, and yet is in second place in the counselor race, 4 times as many as Minnesota. Mississippi and Alabama, also worst schools in America, middle of the pack with twice as many counselors as MN. Arkansas, another worst, is in eleventh place.

      Obviously there is no correlation whatsoever. Or, less is better.

  • Patty

    Counselors can be such a help in a school environment and a support to a teacher and his/her class. There are children in our schools who need more than reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, but a teacher cannot be everything to every student. Recognizing that the days of Beaver Cleaver are over and building up all children goes a long way to benefiting everyone.

  • Patty

    Counselors can be such a help in a school environment and a support to a teacher and his/her class. There are children in our schools who need more than reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, but a teacher cannot be everything to every student. Recognizing that the days of Beaver Cleaver are over and building up all children goes a long way to benefiting everyone.