Lincoln Park Schools renovate 50-year-old observatory

Almost half a century ago, a teacher at Lincoln Park Public Schools had the bright idea of building an observatory for the school district's students.

Not long after, the 1-story, dome-shaped observatory, complete with a better-than-your-average telescope rose next to the school district's football field. Students used it for years afterwards, but then the facility fell into disuse.

"It's been mothballed for a while," says Randy Kite, superintendent of Lincoln Park Public Schools. "Teachers used to use it, but it fell by the wayside."

It had been vacant in recent years, until another Lincoln Park teacher, Tim Dey, was inspired to do something with it. He and others organized efforts and raised funds to rehab the structure, which holds about 8-9 people.

The Toshiba American Foundation gave $15,000 toward the project. The Ford Amateur Astronomy Club ($500) and Lincoln Park Preservation Alliance ($200) also chipped in to make it possible. The facility is expected to reopen in time for the new school year so it can once again be used by Lincoln Park's students and teachers.

Source: Randy Kite, superintendent of Lincoln Park Public Schools
Writer: Jon Zemke
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