Muscle Shoals Middle School set to reopen planetarium

WAFF 48 Reporting
Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 4:55 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WAFF) - The Muscle Shoals Middle School is preparing to reopen its planetarium this upcoming week to the public.

The school’s planetarium will be back open on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony. The planetarium will be open until 8 p.m. for additional tours and for a program.

“If you want to finally see what’s in this building, now is your chance,” Dianna Ritter said. “So we’re super excited because a lot of people have always wanted to see it and now they get to see it with all the upgrades and the new technology.”

Muscle Shoals Middle School Principal Dianna Ritter said the reopening of the school’s planetarium will benefit not only the students in the school but for others in the city across the Shoals. She said she hopes that other schools will be able to stop in eventually on field trips to the planetarium.

The school renovated the planetarium which secured funds back in 2020 with Principal Kevin Davis, from there they have been working on a reopening date for several years. Ritter was the assistant principal at the time so she said she has had her hand in the renovations since the beginning.

”That’s what I hear is ‘I can’t wait,’ Ritter said. “So many people it’s kind of funny because they see this weird shaped building with this dome on top then they’re like what is that. A lot of people don’t even realize this is a planetarium and an observatory.”

The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the hiccups that placed a temporary hold on the reopening of the facility.

The planetarium at the school originally opened in 1970, and Ritter said it had become outdated and was not in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The planetarium has not been open for around 15 years now.

Click Here to Subscribe on YouTube: Watch the latest WAFF 48 news, sports & weather videos on our YouTube channel!