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Volunteers clean up Von Braun Planetarium

The volunteers gave the inside a fresh coat of paint while the parking lot received a new layer of gravel.

Posted: Sep 8, 2018 7:20 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2018 6:15 AM

The Wernher Von Bruan Planetarium at Monte Sano Park is looking refreshed thanks to some handy volunteers.

Several members of the Von Bruan Astronomical Society along with other volunteers gathered at the planetarium early Saturday to spruce up the building. The volunteers gave the inside a fresh coat of paint while the parking lot received a new layer of gravel. Don Reed, the president of the society, told us the building is in need of major upgrades and repairs which includes making it wheelchair friendly and repairs to the telescope. He told WAAY 31 an estimate done a few years ago valued the repairs at $2 million. He expects it to be even more now.

"We also need to preserve the dome that's behind me because it leaks into the building. So that dome is key to the telescope that sits underneath it because it has to rotate and open up so that we can do what the telescope was built to do," said Reed.

Around 20 volunteers showed up to lend a hand including one local boy scout with a unique connection to the planetarium.

"My great-grandfather worked here with Wernher von Braun, and like, built this whole place," said Chase Berkey.

Berkey's grandfather also worked at the planetarium as a child with his own boy scout group. The society will be hosting an event for world astronomy day on October 13th and hopes the public will enjoy the few updates they've been able to make.

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