Space center in Pleasant Grove raising funds for planetarium

Local News

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (News4Utah)- The Christa McAuliffe Space Center in Pleasant Grove is looking to make a new addition, but they need your help.

Central Elementary in Pleasant Grove is home to the space center which is an educational, immersive space simulator run by Alpine School District.

 The center has been around for 27 years and has seen more than 400,000 students.

The school—along with the space center—have been undergoing a rebuild since 2016 and is raising funds for a new, permanent planetarium.

Donations are being accepted now.

Funds raised will go toward constructing the planetarium, additional simulators, and add community outreach rooms for extended learning workshops.  This would be in addition to ASD’s current plans of constructing the main school facility and four simulators. The end result being a 50 percent increase to the current field trip capacity of the program.  “As it is right now, we have to turn away schools wanting to attend our field trip program,” James Porter, program director explained. “We just don’t have the facility to handle any more classes.”

The rebuild is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Click here to donate to find out more about the center.


Where will the new building be located?

  • On the same lot as the current school.  The build will occur with school operating normally with a limited playground and field access.  When the new structure is completed the old school will be demolished after special community events.

How much money are you raising?

  • A 4K planetarium dome and projection system is estimated at $800,000.

Who will have access to the planetarium?

  • The Space Center will operate after school planetarium shows on weekdays and on Saturday just as it has with their simulator programs.  Individuals or groups will be able to purchase tickets or rent out the planetarium. Funds from these activities will sustain the operational costs of the program without putting additional financial burdens on Alpine School District just as the Space Center has done for 27 years.

Is it going to be a separate building?

  • Current plans have the planetarium and Space Center in an attached, but isolated, wing of the school.

Are there any membership benefits or recognition for donors?

  • There are a wide range of donation options that give donors a chance at future planetarium shows, simulations, yearly memberships, plaque recognition, and other fun gratuities.

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