A massive skeletal steel dome built recently in Tucson will help protect people from hurricanes and tornadoes in Virginia.
Tucson-based McCarty Domes Inc. fabricated a 36-foot-diameter steel structure for a hurricane and tornado shelter that can withstand 200-mph winds, meeting design requirements set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The 18-foot-tall structure was disassembled Monday for shipment to a high school in Alexandria, Va., where a local contractor will cover it with 4 inches of reinforced concrete to form a shelter, company President Jerry McCarty said.
McCarty Domes, an 11-year-old company that specializes in architectural domes, has projects in 20 states.
The company worked with two local companies, Parsons Steel Builders and Turnkey Corp., to create the shelter structure, which was fabricated and fully assembled at Parsons’ site on Highway Drive, off Interstate 10 south of West Ruthrauff Road.
McCarty noted that Congress has increased funding for a FEMA grant program that funds the shelters, which are being installed in the South and up the East Coast.