JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - On Thursday morning, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and other officials announced big new ideas for the Russell C. Davis Planetarium downtown.
The planetarium has been closed since 2018 due to a roof leak and interior damage. Now, it’s about to get its first major renovation in 42 years.
Those who have been working on a new design say they want to take the principles of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM), and showcase them in a centralized space for the State of Mississippi. They have allowed those principles to drive their vision for a refurbished planetarium. Interior demolition will begin promptly, and their aim is to open the renovated Russell C. Davis Planetarium by April 2022.
“As this comes into fruition, this will represent a very beautiful opportunity for the City of Jackson,” Mayor Lumumba says.
Officials have been reaching out to funding sources on the federal, state and local levels. The City of Jackson has identified roughly $2.4M for the project. In addition, leaders have launched a crowdfunding campaign called “Friends of the Planetarium” to allow anyone to donate to the effort.
The campaign is available at yourplanetarium.com. The site features merchandise that will help fund renovations.
The campaign will end in August 2020.