The FDIC is a convention 30,000 strong that fills the RCA Domewith many of the country's finest firefighters. Organizers for theevent are sad to see the old dome go, but are excited by what thefuture will hold.
"It's sort of a nostalgic time for us. It's been here 11 yearsand had great success," said FDIC Vice President and ExecutiveDirector Eric Schlett.
The dome has played host to this event, the largest exhibitionof its kind. Nine-Hundred companies were represented at the event,showcasing the latest equipment the industry offers. Many attendeessaid the dome is the exhibit's ideal home.
"You are standing on Colt's field yeah. I didn't realize thatuntil this year...coming in and looking all around. Of course thisis the last year for the stadium so I was glad I got to be here,"firefighter Bill Lynch said.
The dome has a date with the wrecking balls this summer. The$3.5 million dollar demolition will take six months to complete.The first step will be the removal of the fabric roof. Then crewswill tear down the concrete beams that encircle the dome. Beforedemolition begins crews need to clear the building.
"As you can imagine there are many, many things you've got toremove from the dome, salvage," said Tom Scheele, ConstructionProject Manager for Shiel Sexton.
FDIC attendees are already planning for next year's convention.The exhibition will be held in the new Lucas Oil Stadium.
"To see this place go is difficult but knowing what we're movinginto at Lucas Oil Stadium is just tremendous," Schlett said.
Firefighters said they really look forward to the scheduledcompletion of expanded convention center in 2010. The centercombined with Lucas Oil Stadium will have almost double the meetingroom and exhibition space.
The firefighters said Indy's expansion will allow theirconference to grow.
Report by Deanna Dewberry, WISH. Edited by JasonCrundwell.
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