The Minnesota Planetarium Society has enlisted the support of KSTP broadcasting magnate Stanley Hubbard for its $10 million capital campaign for the new Planetarium and Space Discovery Center planned for Downtown.
The state-of-the-art, $28 million Minnesota Planetarium and Space Discovery Center would be built atop the roof of the New Central Library under construction on Nicollet Mall's north end. The Minneapolis City Council is seeking $24 million from the state for the star-gazing project in its 2004 bonding request. Gov. Tim Pawlenty did not include planetarium money in his $760 million bonding package.
Hubbard has agreed to serve as co-chair for the capital campaign, said Planetarium Director Robert Bonadurer. Another co-chair will be selected in about a month. Fund-raisers hope to raise $4 million for the construction, $4 million for a long-term capital reserve fund and $2 million for ongoing planetarium operations, he said.
The St. Paul-based nonprofit Crowley, White & Associates has agreed to assist planetarium fund-raisers on a pro-bono basis.
The Minnesota Planetarium Society formed last year to lead the private capital campaign -- a first in the planetarium's 53-year history. The group also has plans to develop an astronomy educational outreach program.
Plans for the new, 37,000-square-foot planetarium call for a 250-seat theater with a fiber-optic star projector, which has the capability of replicating a night sky with 9,000 stars.