The Local Group
This is a living page with information pertinent to Lowell’s capital expansion plans. Any changes and additions to this page will be noted in a community update email.
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Opening by 2024, the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation Astronomy Discovery Center at Lowell Observatory will be a place of curiosity and discovery for visitors from around the world.
A growing body of evidence indicates “free-choice” learning experiences at private science centers contribute more significantly to the public’s scientific literacy than science coursework in high school or college. For children, experiences gained in science centers are major predictors for future science inquiry skills and academic achievement.
We have worked closely with the Flagstaff community to select elements for a new Astronomy Discovery Center that are unique to our capabilities while addressing future visitor needs and interests. The new 32,000-square-foot Center will include key destination features:
- Youth and Family Exhibits
- Universe Theater
- Richard F. Caris Dark Sky Planetarium
Additional new amenities will include a café, expanded gift shop, additional bathrooms, and ample parking to make our guests’ visits more enjoyable.
*Renderings on this page are conceptual and subject to change.
October 15, 2020 Neighborhood Meeting: Astronomy Discovery Center/Section 17
Letters from William Lowell Putnam, IV, Sole Trustee, regarding Section 17 and Lowell Observatory
Section 17 Bill
Draft binding development agreement with the City that Council will be considering at its meeting on November 9 (This was also included in Council’s agenda packet and is publicly available at the City website as well.)
Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee – Proposed Statement on Observatory Purposes
“The Committee understands that Lowell Observatory recently developed a land use proposal for section 17 with the input and co-authorship of local-elected officials, educational institutions, research institutions, and other stakeholders, that envisions developing a nonprofit science, technology, and engineering campus that would further the mission and purposes of the observatory. Access to this campus would necessitate the construction of a road on section 17. The land use plan could include supporting an arts and culture center, would maintain open space conservation, and could allow for cabins for employees, academic associates, and other professional visitors to the observatory campus. The committee acknowledges that the mission and purpose of the observatory has evolved since section 17 was originally conveyed to Percival Lowell in 1910 and believes that such land uses meet the spirit and intent of the term observatory purposes and related educational purposes as amended by S. 242.”