A building once considered state-of-the-art has sat abandoned for years now but it will have a new life now that city council approved a $6.6-million construction plan.
The Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium is owned by the city and will be operated by the Telus World of Science.
Alan Nursall, CEO of the Telus World of Science, tells Global News, it opened in 1960 and was the first planetarium in Canada.
“The plan is to try to keep as much of this feel as possible.” explains Nursall. “I think people will really, really get a kick out of it because it is a really special building to be inside of, its unlike anything else in the city.”
Nursall says it will be used as a teaching, reception and production space after it is completed.
“You’ve got a star map with a star projector, you have visual images from a couple of dozen slide projectors and soundtrack and music and you have yourself a show,” adds Nursall.
City council approved a motion to designate the site a municipal historic resource on Wednesday.
Mayor Don Iveson tells Global News, it is a good investment in our history.
“The planetarium is a stunning, stunning building,” explains Iveson. “I’m pleased, as you can see, there is no controversy about it, it makes a lot of sense and I’m glad we can add this one and keep it really as a special heart in Coronation Park.”
Nursall says is excited to bring it back to its former glory.
“It is smaller than I remember it when I was eight or nine years old,” explains Nursall. “This is where the show operator would sit, running the projector and running the show, so there are all sorts of tricks you can do with the slide projectors.”
Nursall thinks it will be a popular spot for Edmontonians when it is reopened.
Construction is scheduled for next year, with the opening planned for 2018. (twd, Global News)