EPISD’s iconic Roddenberry Planetarium officially opened its doors Monday in a new state-of-the-art facility that promises students an adventure to infinity and beyond.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of the planetarium, now located in the former multipurpose facility at Crosby Elementary. The star-studded event gave dignitaries, community members and EPISD campers from the Boys and Girls Club of El Paso a glimpse into tonight’s El Paso sky at specifically 9:15 p.m. and a short movie about the universe.
“I really enjoyed the trip to the planetarium, and I loved the movie,” said Nathaniel Hernandez, a rising fifth grader from Clendenin Elementary. “I can’t wait to go back.”
The $1.16 million project was made possible through a partnership between EPISD and the City of El Paso. A nearly $1 million Community Development Block Grant provided the bulk of the funding for the area’s only planetarium – originally built in 1969 at EPISD’s former Boeing Drive offices.
“This collaboration allows us to continue to provide students with awe-inspiring lessons about the universe and space exploration across a 40-foot dome,” said Superintendent Diana Sayavedra. “It has nurtured a passion for science and the stars for students for decades and will continue to inspire generations of students to come. The Roddenberry is an El Paso treasure.”
Modernizations to the 3,635 square foot planetarium include specialized lighting and sound, a new HVAC system, a ticket room, a catwalk above the 40-foot dome and storage facilities.