It’s the largest facility of its kind at a Florida public school.
The new Riverview High School Science Center and Planetarium opened its doors to the public Saturday, Sept. 11. The center will allow elementary-, middle- and high-school students, as well as community members, to experience a variety of planetarium shows, most at no charge.
“This one-of-a-kind learning facility will allow students to experience a new way of learning about the world around them in a 360-degree theater,” said Jason Mocherman, planetarium director and astronomy teacher at Riverview High School. “It will carry on the tradition of bringing quality science programming to Sarasota County students each year.”
The school’s previous planetarium, which opened in 1969, hosted thousands of students during its four decades. The new building, which cost $1.4 million, features a digital projection system, dynamic lighting, a digital surround-sound audio system and planetarium-style seating. The Riverview High School Foundation contributed approximately $380,000 to fund the purchase of equipment.
The grand-opening event featured the Deep-Sky Observers, who demonstrated sidewalk astronomy, planetarium programs and exhibits from G.WIZ.
BY THE NUMBERS
$1.4 million — the cost to build the new planetarium
$380,000 — amount of money RHS Foundation contributed to the project
40 — years Riverview’s previous planetarium was in existence