The Minneapolis Metrodome, ripped and deflated after blizzard-like conditions in December, will be replaced after engineers questioned the safety of the entire fabric dome.

The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which operates the 28-year-old Metrodome, is taking proposals for the job, which will cost an estimated $18.3 million.

Offerings are due by Feb. 23, and the work is to be completed by Aug. 1.

The dome, a two-layer fabric structure supported by fan-blown air and held in place with steel cables, has been under study since December after snow and ice ripped holes in the fabric and caused it to collapse.

The extent of the damage was greater than the five panels initially reported.

“We have concluded that the entire roof membrane must be replaced,” Ruben Martinez and Mark C. Waggoner, both principals at Walter P. Moore and Associates Inc., Austin, Texas, said in a report for the MSFC.

“Our evaluation has identified 26 diamond panels, 22 rectangular panels and nine triangular panels as unacceptable,” the report said. Those panels form about 60% of the roof. The report continued, “Due to a considerable risk of undetected flaws in the remaining panels caused by prolonged moisture exposure and wind flutter in the deflated condition, we recommend a full replacement of the fabric roof system.”

The MSFC will use a “best value” procedure to select the contract winner, basing its selection on weighted factors such as price, meeting the completion date, the contractor’s technical ability and qualifications as well as key contractor personnel qualifications.

The roof assessment has been under way since mid-December by Walter P. Moore; Birdair Inc., Amherst, N.Y., which made and installed the roof; Geiger Engineers, Suffern, N.Y., which designed the roof system, and Clark Engineering Corp. of Minneapolis.

The Metrodome is the home stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, which has said it will not renew its contract after this year.