IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa has a new dome at its astronomical observatory.

The dome atop Van Allen Hall at the Iowa City campus replaces one that was constructed in the early 1960s. Officials say the older dome had become outdated for classroom and public use.

The new dome, which was funded through a grant, is made of a multi-layered fiberglass structure that opens and closes electronically. Graduate students helped assemble it before it was hoisted to the top of the building.

School officials say a formal unveiling of the dome will be scheduled at a later date.

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