West Valley College in Saratoga, California, has received a $3.5 million gift from the Jean and E. Floyd Kvamme Foundation to help transform its planetarium into a state-of-the-art facility, the Saratoga Patch reports.
Built more than forty years ago, the WVC planetarium needs upgrades to keep up with technological and scientific advances in astronomy. Between the Kvammes' gift and $1.5 million from a government initiative known as "Measure C," the planetarium will be completely overhauled and brought up to modern planetarium standards. The renovated facility, which will be renamed the Jean and E. Floyd Kvamme Planetarium, will feature a ten-meter dome, a digital planetarium projector, and theater-style seating. The largest gift in the school's history also includes funding to establish an endowment that will support ongoing programming and exhibits for the college and local community.
"We're hoping the planetarium will interest a lot of kids," said E. Floyd Kvamme. "We hope it can interest students in things scientific that they might not think they'd be interested in. We're hoping it will open doors for them."