Liberty Science Center donation to fund US's largest planetarium

by Tom Anstey | 15 Mar 2016

The Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, has announced plans for the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, to be funded by the biggest charitable donation from a single individual in the institution’s history.

The US$5m (€4.5m, £3.5m) donation from board member Jennifer Chalsty will be used to revamp the science centre’s IMAX planetarium dome, with the renovation including an expansion of the planetarium itself, meaning it will become larger than the Hayden Planetarium at New York’s American Museum of Natural History.

In addition to the planetarium’s expansion, further improvements will include the conversion of the IMAX theatre from film to digital and a new screen among other refurbishments.

"I want to thank Jennifer for her tremendous generosity," said Paul Hoffman, president and CEO of the Liberty Science Center. "She is a remarkable, caring individual who is committed to educating the next generation.”

Last year the science centre also announced plans for a US$230m (€204.6m, £153.5m) expansion of its campus to include a new science and technology facility adjacent to the existing building.

Dubbed SciTech Scity, the 16-acre (64,700sq m) addition to the science centre will include a technology business incubator, biotech and coding labs plus a grade school with a focus on STEM. There will also be a 135-bedroom science-themed hotel and residences for 275 people. The new campus will act as not only a visitor attraction, but also as an education and research area for students and leaders in the field of science and technology.

Liberty Science Center  Science Centre  Planetarium  IMAX  Jersey City  Museum  
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The Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, has announced plans for the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, to be funded by the biggest charitable donation from a single individual in the institution’s history. The US$5m (€4.5m, £3.5m) donation from board member Jennifer Chalsty will be used to revamp the science centre’s IMAX planetarium dome, with the renovation including an expansion of the planetarium itself, meaning it will
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The US$5m donation will expand the planetarium's footprint to become the largest in the Western Hemisphere
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