SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The replacement of the Carrier Dome roof has taken another step forward now that the familiar air-inflated cover has been deflated.

The roof was deflated in just under an hour early Monday morning.

Now, crews are working quickly to take the material apart as it hangs a few dozen feet over the floor of The Dome.

Carrier Dome Managing Director Pete Sala tells NewsChannel 9, “Our goal is to get in there with the contractor, PFEIFER FabriTec, and start cutting panels out and letting them hit the floor.”

Some of that fabric will be used for souvenirs, including a piece for each graduating senior in the Class of 2020.

The other key is taking down the nearly three miles of cable netting that was holding the air inflated roof together.

Sala says many of the metal bleacher seats have been removed and stacked around The Dome so they are not damaged during this part of the project. They will be reinstalled, new seating is not expected as part of this first phase of the project.

What will be part of Phase One now is air conditioning for The Dome.

“Our goal is to have air conditioning by Commencement of 2021, and I don’t see why I can’t hit that date. But that’s going to be happening, and again, I’ve had people reach out and say finally you’re getting air conditioning it opens up more dates for us in the Spring,” Sala tells NewsChannel 9.

Parts of the inside of the famous arena are wrapped to protect parts of the building.

Sala explains, “Like shrink wrap on a boat. Everything is framed off and waterproofed where the ribbon boards are to separate the bowl from the concourses.”

The truss portion of the project, the giant white steel structure emerging on the top of The Dome, is a little behind schedule but Sala says crews should be able to get that finished in April, and therefore not interfering with the rest of the project.

And when asked what the finished project will mean to the longstanding traditions of being blown out the doors of The Dome he says, “Not like you used to, so the first year of operation we’ll still run with some pressure in the building to operate the exhaust fans and things like that.”

After that The Dome will get all new mechanicals as part of Phase Two meaning no air pressure still running through the building.

The goal is still to have The Dome open again on Saturday, Sept. 19, when the Orange are set to host Colgate for a football game.

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