Go, go Idaho!

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, boasts the largest free-span wood truss athletic dome in the world

During the fifth century, a group of Germanic people, known as Vandals, warred and pillaged through north Africa, ancient Gaul and Spain. In 455, the Vandals' King Gaiseric led his troops to Rome where the group's reputation preceded it. The Vandals were unopposed as they plundered Rome and ravaged its people for 14 days, hence the term "vandalize."

In the early 1900s, a sportswriter for The Argonaut, the Moscow-based University of Idaho's newspaper, used the term vandalize to describe how the school's sports teams were beating their opponents. Because the teams had no mascot, the university's mascot became Joe Vandal, a helmeted barbarian who wears a bearded sneer.

But the name became somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. In 1969, the University of Idaho Vandals experienced vandalism when Neale Stadium, the university's football stadium, was destroyed by arson and the university was forced to build a new facility. With the help of former student William Kibbie, the university raised $12 million for the ASUI- (Associated Students University of Idaho-) Kibbie Activity Center. The 14-story, 410-foot- (125-m-) long facility is home to the school's football and men's basketball teams andprovides training areas fortrack and tennis, as well as competition areas for intramural activities and volleyball tournaments.

Notably, the facility features a 160,000-square-foot (14860-m²) barrel-arch roof system supported by a web of wood and steel trusses that earned its engineer, Arthur Lowe Troutner, founder of Trus Joist Corp., Boise, Idaho, the 1976 Outstanding Structural Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The building also is the world's largest free-standing wood truss athletic dome.

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