ARIZONA NEWS

Dark Sky Discovery Center in Fountain Hills moving closer to reality

Apr 5, 2022, 9:56 AM | Updated: Apr 6, 2022, 11:00 am

PHOENIX – Plans for the International Dark Sky Discovery Center, which will house the Phoenix area’s largest telescope, are coming into focus.

The center announced Tuesday that the conceptual design has been completed and construction is on track to begin in November.

“This brings us much closer to creating an international centerpiece that will inspire future scientists and people of all ages to understand how important dark skies are for the well-being of humans, plants, and animals and for opening the window to the observable universe,” Joe Bill, the project’s president, said in a press release.

The 22,000-square-foot venue in Fountain Hills will feature four major components: a 20.5-foot domed observatory with a 27.5-inch PlaneWave telescope; the 60-seat Hyperspace Planetarium; the 150-seat Inspiration Theater with 8K projection; and the Immersion Zone, a section for interactive exhibits.

Scottsdale-based architectural firm Swaback designed the facility, which will be built by McCarthy Building Companies. McCarthy’s previous work includes OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale and the ASU Biodesign Institute in Tempe.

St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations will create exhibits for the Valley attraction. PGAV Destinations’ portfolio includes exhibits designed for the Kennedy Space Center and Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

Plans for the $18 million project were unveiled in 2019, and fundraising started in 2021. The state appropriated $2.5 million to the International Dark Sky Discovery Center in the 2021 budget.

In 2018, Fountain Hills was designated as the world’s 17th International Dark Sky Community after years of work to reduce light pollution in the town east of Scottsdale.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The suspect is accused of killing Sheriff Mark Lamb's son, his son's fiancé, and the couple's daug...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona man accused of killing family of Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb has been indicted

A man who killed a family of three in 2022 has been indicted, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced on June 13, 2024.

6 hours ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

7 hours ago

Eastbound Interstate 10 was temporarily closed in Buckeye for a crash on June 13, 2024. (ADOT Photo...

KTAR.com

Eastbound Interstate 10 temporarily closed in Buckeye due to crash

Eastbound Interstate 10 was temporarily closed in Buckeye for a crash on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

9 hours ago

A 3-year-old girl was taken to a hospital after being pulled from a pool at a Phoenix apartment com...

KTAR.com

3-year-old taken to hospital after being pulled from pool at Phoenix apartment complex

A 3-year-old girl was taken to a hospital after being pulled from a pool at a Phoenix apartment complex on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

9 hours ago

Law enforcement leaders and politicians were quick to react Thursday. (KTAR News Photo/Heidi Hommel...

Danny Shapiro

Law enforcement leaders, politicians react to DOJ findings into Phoenix Police Department

Law enforcement leaders and politicians were quick to react Thursday after the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the Phoenix Police Department found patterns of egregious civil rights violations.

10 hours ago

Follow @kstonezone...

Sponsored Content by Collins Comfort Masters

Here's how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Dark Sky Discovery Center in Fountain Hills moving closer to reality