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Planetarium part of $14.5M project coming to downtown Spartanburg

Krys Merryman //September 5, 2023//

Planetarium part of $14.5M project coming to downtown Spartanburg

Krys Merryman //September 5, 2023//

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The project would put a new planetarium at the library's main branch in Spartanburg. (Image/Provided)Spartanburg’s design review board approved the Spartanburg County Library’s design plans for $14.5 million in library renovations and a new planetarium.

The planetarium will be attached to the current library headquarters at the corner of Broad and Church streets in downtown Spartanburg, said Spartanburg County Public Libraries Director of Planetarium Andy Flynt.

The project will feature a three-story add-on to the current library headquarters at 151 S. Church St. The first floor will be a 125-seat planetarium with a theater and 50-foot dome; the second floor will be the “Spark Space,” which will — at the least — have an embroidery machine, 3D printers, technology to convert tapes to DVDs, working robotics, and an overall space to try out new interests and hobbies. The third floor will be administrative offices, said Flynt.

With more than 135 years in service, providing information and entertainment, first through books, then by branching out to electronic media and internet access, said Flynt, the planetarium will complement the services the library system already provides to the community on a daily basis.

“It will be a great way for us to continue to provide entertainment and information to the community, especially in the STEM area, and we really feel we can complement other services in the community with focus on astronomy and space exploration, the dome theater, the virtual ability of people running with dinosaurs, being able to take roller coaster rides. It will be a great way to spark the imagination and hopefully inspire people in areas they really want to learn more in,” said Flynt.

The project is expected to break ground by the end of the year, said Flynt, with completion expected between winter 2024 and spring 2025, if all goes according to plan.

The architect is McMillan Pazdan Smith.