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Desert Dome Re-Opens, but Future of "The Domes" Still Unclear

For the first time in over 8 months, all three Mitchell Park Domes are now open to the public. 

The Desert Dome re-opened Saturday morning, about a week ahead of schedule. 

All three domes have been closed at various points since January, when concrete was spotted falling from the glass roof. Temporary repairs were made on all three, but more repairs will be needed if the Domes are to remain open long-term.

     "It's a good day in Milwaukee for the visitors to come see the domes operating fully," said Domes Marketing Manager Peter Lepkowski. "Now we will not have a problem with pieces of rock falling or anything. It's fully safe." 

The re-opening drew dozens of people who weren't able to visit the domes over the summer. 

     "It's a huge resource, a huge learning opportunity," said Abby Teuscher. "Unless you have the money to travel to these places, you'd never get to see this."

Teuscher is one of many who wants the domes restored and maintained in their current form.

     "I hope it never closes, that would be incredibly sad."

The county is still gathering input from the public to see if the domes should remain as is, be torn down and rebuilt, or torn down and replaced with something new. 

     "Of course you'd love to conserve this place, because it's absolutely amazing," said another Visitor Devin Bartz. "But if it ends up being more feasible to build another place like this that could last for even longer, how do you say no to that?" 

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