Construction crews have completed the assembly of a gold dome on top of Missouri Military Academy’s new administration building, Stribling Hall.
The dome replaces the silver dome that sat on top of the old building from 1900 to 2011. It is one of the finishing touches on Stribling Hall’s construction. MMA alumni, faculty, community members, and all three living MMA presidents were on site to witness the historic event. Four members of the class of 1971 traveled from the St. Louis area to be present.
The 8,000-pound dome was hoisted to the top of the building around 10:00 a.m. Monday under sunny skies, despite a slight breeze.
Once the dome was in place, spectators were invited inside for a reception and tours of the building, which is still under construction and slated for completion in early May. During the reception, MMA president MajGen Robert M. Flanagan, USMC (Ret.) gave remarks, when he revealed the history of the gold dome - the idea was first conceived by MMA alum Les Barnard ’48, of Flossmoor, Ill. The dome will be one of the few gold domes in the state of Missouri.
Director of Advancement Dan Fowler then presented commemorative crystal mementos to the on-site members of the Gold Dome Society, a fundraising initiative introduced in September 2011. He announced that the names of the Gold Dome Society members will be displayed in the rotunda of Stribling Hall.
Guests were then invited to tour the building. When the tours were complete, many spectators were surprised to see MajGen Flanagan lifted to the top of the dome alongside two workers to assist with the placement of the dome’s pole.
Upon its May completion, Stribling Hall will also be only the second LEED-certified building in Audrain County. The United States Green Building Council awards organizations and business with LEED certification, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. In 2009, MMA became the only LEED-certified high school in Missouri.
The next steps in Stribling Hall’s construction include finishing the areas around the top of the building and the placement of a time capsule inside the back terrace before laying its concrete surface.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled during MMA’s Commencement Weekend May 24-26. Alumni, cadets, faculty and staff, and friends of the Academy will be invited to attend the ceremony, where school officials will dedicate the new Stribling Hall.