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New Planetarium Included in 10-Year Cocoa Master Plan; Current Planetarium Permanently Closed

 
 
Artist's rendering of new Planetarium with lake to right
 
This artist's rendering shows a new Planetarium planned as part of EFSC's $87 million 10-year Master Plan for Cocoa campus improvements. The current Planetarium was permanently closed due to severe damage sustained from Hurricane Irma and other structural issues related to its age.

Important Update - Plans to seek $21.6 million to construct a new planetarium are included in an $87 million 10-year Master Plan for the Eastern Florida State College Cocoa Campus announced on April 11, 2022. Read more details about the plan, which in addition to the Planetarium includes new academic buildings, student housing and major improvements to the campus grounds.

The current EFSC Planetarium and Observatory sustained severe damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017 and is permanently closed. Under the new Master Plan, the old structure on the western edge of Clear Lake will be demolished after an engineering study found serious safety issues.

The Planetarium's exhibits have been moved to safe storage and the Observatory's large telescope, a 24” Ritchey-Chretien reflector, is currently protected inside the current structure.

To determine the full extent of the 2017 hurricane damage and all other age-related problems, the college contracted Cape Design Engineering Co. to conduct a comprehensive engineering study of the structure.

The study found a number of significant problems classified as “life safety” issues that needed to be addressed immediately. They included a new roof, new heating and air conditioning system, new fire suppression system, and new emergency exits. The study also identified a wide range of needed renovations to modernize the building and bring it up to code for long-term occupancy and use.

For questions about the EFSC Planetarium closure and the plans to replace it as part of the 10-Year Master Plan, contact John Glisch, EFSC Associate Vice President, Communications, at 321-433-7017 or glischj@easternflorida.edu.

Located on the Cocoa Campus of Eastern Florida State College, the Planetarium & Observatory, built in 1974 and opened in 1975, served the College's students and Brevard County Schools, community groups and the general public with informal educational experiences.

This web page will be updated as new information is available.