Additional $3.6 Million in Federal Funds Allocated for MKAEC Project

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
George Jacob, (808) 933-3917
MKAEC Project Director
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642
Media Relations Director
Posted: Feb 19, 2003

Moving steadily ahead with the planning and design process for the $28 million University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center (MKAEC), Project Director George Jacob recently announced the allocation of $3.6 million in federal educational earmarks for fiscal year 2003.

"Senator Daniel Inouye had initiated the procurement of federal funds for creating a landmark institution on the Big Island," Jacob said. "Additional federal funding from NASA is expected toward exhibition design, planetarium, omni-projection theatre and specialized equipment procurement over the next two years. This brings the total federal funds earmarked to date to $19.79 million."

MKAEC will showcase the coming together of science and culture as never before attempted in the United States in a compelling story of human exploration, perseverance and ingenuity in mankind's relentless pursuit of knowledge as it sets sail on a fascinating journey of discovery.

The MKAEC is tentatively scheduled to open in 2005 in the University Park of Science and Technology and will serve as a premier interpretive facility for the world's largest and finest collection of operational astronomical observatories. The 49,000-square-foot Center includes 25,000-square-feet of gallery space, an 18.2 meter tilted-dome URANUS planetarium, and classrooms. MKAEC hopes to attract over 250,000 visitors annually.

Groundbreaking for MKAEC is expected in April 2003.