The end of the renovation is in sight. The SciDome XD projector has arrived and is being installed, and on 2013 Sept 3 and 4, a crew led by Eric Melenbrink of Ash Enterprises (a sub-contractor for seating contractor Tom Sexton & Associates) installed 61 brand-new Graystone Manhattan Planetarium seats. Each chair has comfortable cloth padding and a vinyl headrest. The fabric is Scarlet, and the headrests are Gray, of course.
These are padded reclining seats arranged as front-facing semi-circles. The angle of the seat backs are chosen to give people comfortable views of scenes projected on the dome. There are 61 seats installed, but thanks to sharp reconfiguration by Eric, we can fit in another 2 seats for a total of 63!
5 of the seats are designated as ADA-approved handicapped-accessible seating. Two have side arms that fold up for patrons to slide into the seat from the outside of a row, and the center 3 seats in the front row can be removed to accommodate two full-sized wheelchairs, with asstants' seats on either side. Wide aisles and other features help make our new planetarium even more accessible.
The final steps are at hand! On Thursday, Sept 5, the crew from Spitz returns to finish the installation of the SciDome XD digital projection system, and fire up the projector, digital surround sound system, and new LED dome lighting. A little more than a week of work remains!
Soon, the renovation will be complete, and after a few weeks to get the new system up on its feet, we'll be ready to once again open our doors to the public.
We can't wait!