Cosmophiles in Saanich are thanking their lucky stars after a deal was reached to reopen the Centre of Universe.
However, Saanich South MLA Lana Popham announced Monday that the facility will reopen on a part-time basis in 2014. The interpretive centre will be available for school visits starting in April, and open to the public on Saturdays.
“The NRC agreed to pay for all the infrastructure, maintenance, utility and security costs for the Centre of the Universe. They also agreed to negotiate free public access to the observatory so regular Saturday night viewings could resume,” Popham said. “Of course there is a ton of work left to do, but we are now well on our way.”
The NRC did not agree to cover any staffing costs, so for now, the centre will be run by volunteers.
Built in 1914, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory is home to the Plaskett telescope. At the time of its unveiling in 1918, it was the largest telescope in the world.
According to Popham, two working groups related to the Centre of the Universe have been struck. The first will look at the immediate steps necessary to reopen the centre, while the second will consider the facility’s long-term future.