Observatory and planetarium renovations to be completed

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By Kayla Perry

After nearly four months of construction, the renovations on the Laurentian observatory and planetarium are set to be completed at the end of January.

Construction began on the observatory, as well as the Doran Planetarium, in October 2013.

The Doran Planetarium is one of three university planetariums in Canada, accompanied only by the W. J McCallion Planetarium at McMaster Universty, and the Lockhard Planetarium at the University of Manitoba: it’s also the largest planetarium in Northern Ontario.

While the planetarium and observatory had been scarcely used in the past, due to the lack of an astronomy course at Laurentian, the live astronomy course will return to Laurentian in the spring, to be taught by Director of the Planetarium Paul-Emilie Legault.

“(The observatory) has been closed for I don’t know how many years now, but many years,” said Ubi Wichoski, Chair of the Psychics Department at LU. “Now, students will be able to take advantage of the planetarium and the observatory as part of the (astronomy) course.”

Renovations in the Planetarium included painting, tiles to replace the old rug, re-upholstered seats, and updated equipment.

“It’s all gone digital now,” said Legault in regards to the new planetarium equipment.

When renovations are officially completed, there will be an official ceremony to celebrate the re-opening of both locations.