EPISD is finally trying to do something about the planetarium that will be destroyed when they vacate their current central office location.
From the Tuesday, May 15, 2018 EPISD agenda:
On November 16, 2017, the Board of Trustees approved the submission of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium to be located in City District 4, or a location that will best benefit the district community. In addition, the Board of Trustees approved for the application to be submitted with a 10% cost match with a funding amount to not exceed $1,390,218.00. Through a recent project defense, the City of El Paso has recommended an adjustment of the cost share. Therefore, the Department of Fund and Partnership Stewardship proposes for the Board to approve Ms. Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria, Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations, as the District’s appointee to be able to negotiate the amount of cost share for the CDBG program that will not exceed $500,0000.00.
It appears that they think it will cost 1.39 million dollars. The district is hoping that the city will pay all but half a million of that.
City district 4 covers the northeast part of town.
EPISD maintains the Planetarium serves the Region, was specifically constructed and would be difficult to relocate. It is used by EPISD and by the citizens of El Paso and surrounding communities for education as well as entertainment. Having said that , who benefits? If the city uses or advertises the site as an attraction, and encouraged EPISD to construct and maintain it, then the city is obligated to cover some of the relocation costs. If the concept of a planetarium is outdated, unused, and obsolete, then better uses of the money can be found. Is there another planetarium within 200 miles? 300?Are planetariums still popular and well attended for events? Or are they just used to check the block in a segment of the science curriculum?
I hope you made a typo, and this is not in the original or we are in trouble.
“…the amount of cost share for the CDBG program that will not exceed $500,0000.00.”
count the zeros following the comma
Good catch Tim.
Unfortunately that was the way it was written in the backup document.
Put in in the children’s museum. You know, the one that used to be where the stadium is now.
Whatever happened to Mountainstar’s promise to donate their profits to charity? Remember the promise that was made by one of the owners at the council meeting right before council voted for the ballpark? That’s the ballpark that now stands where the Insights museum once stood.
MSSG ownership used clever semantics. They set up several separate companies for the various revenue streams.
The majority of the substantial revenue streams like concessions, the fan store etc are not part of the “promised profits”.
Until Mountain Star Sports moved into El Taxo and them and the LOCAL POLITICANS started scamming us “Stupid , ignorant peons”, Mountain Star Sports did not even exist. Apparently what got the POLITICIANS attention initially was the words “Campaign DONATIONS”. The Citizens will never see a dime profit, a dime tax cuts and the COST of the ball field will keep going UP, with MILLIONS$$$ added each year for “Maintenance, upkeep”. SOLD-OUT..
Just more Tax, waste, spend, tax, waste more in El Taxo. Inherent Public Corruption in El Taxo.
A lot has changed since 1969 when the Planetarium was opened and it no longer makes sense for an ISD to run one particularly when there is a much better option for both teachers and students.
With the taxpayer investment in classroom technology and connectivity, partnering with McDonalds Observatory makes more sense academically as well as financially for all ISD’s rather than the planetarium.
McDonalds has a whole curriculum for K-12 already aligned with Tx school requirements and hosts a virtual classroom that teachers can incorporate into their classroom.
Utilizing this resource would benefit both the kids as well as the teachers more extensively, plus McDonalds is tied into UT Austin”s Dept of Astronomy, which a puts students on a possible degree pathway that a local planetarium would not.
Also going to an actual observatory is a very worthy field trip worth funding.
Here is one of the links if anyone is interested.
The local planetarium would be a nice element to incorporate into the Children’s Museum.