Downtown planetarium getting a multimillion dollar transformation
SAN ANTONIO- For decades it's drawn countless numbers of young people to the wonders of science and technology. The Scobee Planetarium on the San Antonio College campus entered a new phase of transformation today.
At 50 years old, it's been a long time coming for the Scobee Planetarium, but...today, Alamo College leaders and supporters broke ground on what will launch San Antonio College and the city into the future of virtual space travel.
Bob Kelley of the Scobee Planetarium told us what to look for. "We'll have a new dome, an expanded theater, new reclining seats, the addition of a lobby, gift shop, the observatory will move to an exciting third story location."
Almost 50 years ago, U.S. Astronauts landed on the moon. And San Antonio College hopes the new Scobee Planetarium will help encourage that growth in science and technology for the next 50 years.
The new Scobee Planetarium will sport a futuristic motif that is hoped to help attract a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists.
Robert Moritz, the lead architect for the project says the futuristic motif will be an attraction. "In a case like this where it is a community outreach and it'll turn into a public face for the campus, I think it's a perfect fit."
Part of that fit will also be the new challenger learning center. It will allow students to simulate a real space mission...both as a mission control operator and as an astronaut flying through space.
It all honors astronaut Dick Scobee. The planetarium's namesake got his start by attending San Antonio College in the early1960s. He was the commander of the ill-fated Challenger mission that exploded back in 1986. This new beginning for the Scobee Planetarium is expected to be open to the public early 2013.
The 5-million dollars for the Scobee Planetarium is already in the Alamo College budget. But the 7-million for the Challenger Learning Center will be raised privately.