Construction continues on Columbia's new planetarium - - Columbia, South Carolina

Construction continues on Columbia's new planetarium


Years and years ago, Columbia was once home to a planetarium at the site of the old Museum of Art. When the museum moved to its new home just off Main Street, the planetarium did not come along for the ride, leaving Columbia's space fans in the interstellar dust.

While space fans still have a few months left of waiting to go, the pieces of a brand new planetarium at the South Carolina State Museum are being put in to place.

It's called Windows to the New World, and a peek through the windows lets you know construction is still taking place at the State Museum. But bit by bit and beam by beam, we're getting closer.

"Just last week, we had the last piece of big steel going in, and then, of course, the framing that goes in between all those pieces of steel will fill this out," said Tom Falvey, the museum's director of education.

The last huge, steel piece is now in place for the new 55-foot planetarium dome. Construction crews are on the ground and in the air, putting it all together.

It's hard to tell now, but visitors will be both educated and entertained at the new planetarium with everything from the motion of the night sky to NASA shuttle launches.

The planetarium is just one of several new additions to the museum during a $21 million renovation project.

"The project also has a 4D theater with 125 seats and all kinds of great effects.  We also have an observatory we're building that is accessible online and on-site with a historic telescope.  We'll have meeting rooms and lobby spaces.  It's going to be great," said Falvey.

Construction crews have been working seven days a week to complete the project.  It's expected to be done and open to the public in July.

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