A planetarium will be built in downtown Spartanburg

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) — Another construction project is planned in downtown Spartanburg. This one is for a unique addition to the County Public Library.

At the corner of Broad St. and Church St. in downtown Spartanburg is a lot leading to the library.

“It’s perfect for the development and growth of library services,” said Todd Stephens, Spartanburg County Librarian.

It is a place that will soon host a new planetarium.

“We have focused on a planetarium domed theater which will seat approximately 130 people. The dome is about 45 feet tall and fits into the overall structure,” Stephens said.

On Monday, Stephens presented the library upgrade proposal to the county council, which responded enthusiastically.

“I think from a Spartanburg County perspective, this fits into our plan to help improve our central business district, our downtown as much as we can contribute. I think it’s another big feather in our cap for our ever-growing and ever-popular downtown,” said Spartanburg County Council Chairman Manning Lynch. “It looks like a fantastic project for Spartanburg and we are delighted with it.”

It is a multi-million dollar construction project, which is currently in the fundraising process.

“We are still fundraising. We raised about $3 million and we have another $5 million that we need to contribute to the project along with other funds,” Stephens said.

Once completed, it will provide a unique learning experience like no other.

“Think of a movie theater where the screen is above your head and the seats allow you to have an immersive experience. You can have a projection of the planets and we can go back in time and see how the planets were aligned to a certain period,” Stephens said. “It provides information in a new way. This is an opportunity for us to pique the interest of a young person, while continuing to improve and improve the quality of life for people who live in Spartanburg.

It’s an experience, says the librarian, for all ages.

“I think it’s a wonderful educational opportunity and it’s going to be a big draw, and parents will have something to do with their kids,” Lynch said.

According to Spartanburg County Public Libraries, they plan to bring in speakers to discuss the exhibits, as well as show educational films on screen.

Project officials hope to begin construction of the planetarium by the end of this year.

Arline J. Mercier