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Kenosha planetarium saved after community shows support

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KENOSHA (CBS 58) - Community members saved science in the Kenosha School District.

The board reversed course on a plan to tear down the Bradford Planetarium that has been at the high school for decades.

The planetarium was built in 1960 and has hosted countless field trips and generations of students.

The district said it would cost too much to keep operating, and not enough people use it.

Tuesday night the community convinced them they were wrong.

One at a time, almost a dozen community members stood to support the planetarium.

“It’s not just educational, it’s inspirational,” said a physics teacher.

“I think it would be such an incredible shame to lose the Bradford Planetarium,” said a member of the International Planetarium Society.

“I want to work for NASA, that’s what my 9-year-old said when I took him to the Bradford Planetarium,” said a mother who showed up in support.

One by one community members stood to support the planetarium

The school board voted earlier this year to tear it down as part of a larger energy project.

At the time, the planetarium was being used as a storage room, and had only been used for science a handful of times.

But once people in Kenosha found out they might lose it, they stood to defend it.

One member of the community pointed out that just this week NASA landed on Mars, and this could help motivate more kids to research the event, and take up science.  “There could be someone from Kenosha working in Houston someday,” said the man.

And after almost a dozen people spoke, the feeling changed.

“I understand what goes on under Friday night lights, but I also clearly understand what can happen when you look at the night sky and use your imagination,” said board member Tom Duncan.

The board eventually changed course.

“I’ve had my mind changed tonight,” said board member Gary Kunich.

“My view has changed just as much as yours has,” added board member Rebecca Stevens.

The board voted 6-1 to keep the Bradford Planetarium and fund a $130,000 renovation project.

What exactly that project will be, will be decided at a later time.

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