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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Schenectady County to finance improvements for miSci planetarium

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SCHENECTADY — The Schenectady Museum of Innovation and Science (miSci) is set to undergo a significant transformation, thanks to a $55,000 funding boost from Metroplex, ‌a month after the county pledged to keep the museum in its home city.

The funding will be used to renovate ⁤the museum’s Suits-Bueche Planetarium as part of a $70,000 project. The upgrade ⁤will include a new projector ⁤and sound systems, with an additional $15,000 in‌ funding provided‍ by the Bender Scientific Fund and the Niskayuna Community Foundation.

In March, the county ⁢and the museum reached an agreement to keep miSci at its current Nott Terrace location for at least the next five years. As part of the agreement, ⁤the county will fund a ⁣comprehensive study ⁢of the building to assess its condition.

Once the study is ‌complete, the county and state will explore funding options for necessary infrastructure upgrades, including addressing potential flooding ⁢issues in the site’s basement.

The ⁢initial funding for the planetarium upgrade‍ is expected to boost museum⁢ attendance. “We⁤ are⁤ excited ​to enhance the planetarium and look forward to welcoming more visitors to Schenectady County,” said county Legislature Chair Gary Hughes. “We hope‌ to inspire a new generation of stargazers with events like the upcoming eclipse.”

Metroplex Chair ⁢Ray‍ Gillen announced‌ on Thursday that the renovation work is expected to begin⁣ this⁤ summer or ⁣fall. “We aim ‍to work closely ⁣with the museum to enhance the facility, including the ‍projection, sound, seating, and interior,” he said. “We ‌believe these improvements will attract more visitors and foster a greater interest in astronomy, ⁣especially with the ⁣upcoming eclipse.”

The county Legislature will soon release a Request for⁤ Proposals for the ⁤building survey, according to county officials.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, praised the funding commitment for the planetarium. “This is a significant step towards an exciting future for miSci,” he said. “By upgrading the planetarium, we are enhancing our community’s⁣ cultural offerings and promoting learning for all ages. Our commitment to fostering innovation ensures that Schenectady ⁤remains a leader in ‍science-based education. We are empowering the next generation ⁣of thinkers, scientists, and engineers to dream big and reach for the stars.”

The planetarium improvements will enable the museum‍ to host immersive shows, similar to the Van Gogh and ⁣Monet video-aided exhibitions​ currently at Armory Studios⁢ NY in Schenectady. “The upgrades will equip the facility to host these immersive shows, which are becoming⁤ increasingly popular‍ in planetariums across the country,” Gillen‍ noted.

The museum’s planetarium boasts a 30-foot dome and a ⁢digital ⁣projector that displays star shows for visitors and school⁤ groups. “miSci is proud⁤ to​ host the Capital Region’s⁢ largest planetarium and we are⁤ grateful to the Schenectady ⁣County Metroplex ​Development Authority for​ their support in ‍making these necessary upgrades,” miSci President Dr. Gina Gould said‌ in a statement.

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Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton, a skillful journalist previously based in Boston, is adept at covering a diverse array of stories. Her thorough and engaging reporting style, honed with a Master's in Journalism from Boston University, focuses on community-relevant stories.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Improving the miSci planetarium will benefit the community and provide educational opportunities for all. #agree

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