Santabarbara: Metroplex Board Approves $55,000 Grant for miSci Planetarium Upgrades

Metroplex today announced approval of a $55,000 grant to upgrade and renovate the Suits-Bueche Planetarium at the Schenectady Museum of Innovation and Science (miSci). The planetarium restoration is designed to increase visitation to miSci and is part of the recent agreement between Schenectady County and the museum for the facility to stay and grow at its current location.

Gary Hughes, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “We are pleased to move forward and improve the planetarium. This will drive more attendance, bring more visitors to Schenectady County, and help a new generation of stargazers enjoy events like next week’s eclipse.”

“miSci is proud to host the Capital Region’s largest planetarium and we thank the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority for this support that will allow us to make needed upgrades to this popular attraction,” said Dr. Gina C. Gould, miSci President.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara stated, "This commitment marks another step in shaping an exciting future for MiSci. By upgrading the museum's planetarium, we're enriching our community's cultural landscape and sparking curiosity and learning for people of all ages. Our dedication to fostering innovation ensures that the Electric City remains at the forefront of science-based education. Through this commitment, we are empowering the next generation of thinkers, scientists, and engineers to dream big and reach for the stars."

Planned upgrades to the planetarium include a new projector, projection equipment and sound system as well as seating repairs and reupholstery. The total project cost is estimated at $70,000, with Metroplex contributing $55,000 and $15,000 from the Bender Scientific Fund and the Niskayuna Community Foundation.

The renovated planetarium will be able to host immersive experiences that are expected to draw more visitors to miSci. Metroplex has identified several immersive shows that are interested in coming to the planetarium once repairs are completed. Recent immersive experiences in Schenectady, such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Dinos Alive at Armory Studios NY, have attracted large crowds.

The Suits-Bueche Planetarium already draws more than 17,000 visitors annually with the expectation that this number will grow as new programming is added.

As upgrades to the planetarium move forward, Schenectady County will soon release a Request for Proposals to engineering firms to study building upgrades and repairs needed to preserve the museum’s archives and collections and support programming to drive new visitors to the museum and Schenectady County.