TIMETABLE for planetarium construction (updated December 2000)
May 1999-December 2000 - Fundraising continues. Fundraising through the U of L Foundation to raise an additional $1 million. The planetarium construction project is now estimated at a total of $2.8 million. As of December 2000, over $3 million had been identified. Pledges include:
- Gheens Foundation - leadership gift of $1.45 million
- Paul Ogle Foundation - $500,000
- City of Louisville - $250,000
- Jefferson County Government - $250,000
- University of Louisville - $250,000
- Anonymous donor - $300,000
- J.J.B. Hilliard W.L. Lyons, Inc. - $25,000
- Joyce Kirk - $10,000
- BellSouth - $5,000
- Several individual contributions
September 1999 - Bidding process begins. Architectural drawings and specifications by Louis & Henry Group put out to bid.
November 1999 - Contract awarded. Construction contract awarded to Morell Construction, general contractor.
December 13, 1999 - Groundbreaking. Ceremony for the new Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium held in Strickler Hall, next to the site for the new planetarium.
University of Louisville President, John Shumaker, presided over the ceremony that included speeches by Commonwealth of Kentucky Lt. Governor Stephen L. Henry; Jefferson County Judge Rebecca Jackson; Louisville Mayor David Armstrong: Rabbi Joseph Rooks Rapport, the Temple-Congregation Adath Israel Brith Sholom; Joseph Stopher, The Gheen's Foundation, and former astronaut and Senator John Glenn. Glenn told the audience, "the more we excite people about space--something that is bigger than all of us--the better."
September 1999-May 2000 - New community planning board established. Comprehensive strategic and operational plans were developed with input from the 38 member Planning Advisory Council, focus groups and the greater Louisville community.
August 1999-December 2000 - First planetarium program takes shape. A technical team of experts from U of L produce new planetarium show using the latest technology, including Immersavision by Spitz.
January, 2001 - Construction to be complete.
November 2000 - April 2001 - Dome and equipment installation. Equipment to be installed and tuned and show production work to be completed in the new dome.
April 24, 2001 - Grand opening of the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium.