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King H.S. planetarium to open to stargazers again

The facility was closed for more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Posted at 5:52 PM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 18:52:23-04

CORPUS CHRISTI — After the COVID-19 pandemic shut it down for two years, the R. Wollman Planetarium at King High School will welcome back star gazers on Sept. 6.

“We had a lot of demand primarily from neighboring school districts that wanted to bring school field trips,” Laura Peck said.

Peck, the planetarium’s director, said it first opened at the same time the school did in 1965.

“This is 1965 technology and it still works,” Peck said while giving a tour. “In the 1960’s the United States was in the space race with the former soviet union and the federal government wanted to encourage high school students to go into careers based on math and science.”

Peck said it was built thanks to a federal grant.

“The National Defense of Education Act that students could apply for,” Peck said. “So, since King High School was being constructed at the time, they were awarded this grant.”

Since then, the facility has welcomed countless visitors, both students and members of the community, to learn about the mystery that is space.

“It has a video dome projector and then a star projector,” Peck said.

Although most of the equipment is original, the planetarium went digital in 2009.

And, for the first time since 2020, stargazers will once again get to not only take a trip through time with some vintage technology, they’ll get to soar into the near future.

“I have it set for that evening’s night time sky so It takes the real sky and shrinks it to our ceiling,” Peck said.

Starting Sept. 6 through May 2023, public shows will be held at the Planetarium on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m.

Admission for adults is $5 and children and seniors are $4.

People can purchase tickets at the door or visit the King High School website.

“The money goes back into the planetarium,” Peck said. “It helps us with operational costs and equipment upkeep.”