Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

Planetarium to receive projection/lighting upgrades


During the 1998-99 renovation of Pierce Middle School, Merrillville's Planetarium received minor updates to the theater. The star projector was refurbished, control console upgraded, and a repainted dome. Many of the systems involved in show production and presentation were left unchanged.

On September 19th, 2006 the School Board for the Merrillville Community School Corporation unanimously approved a recommendation by Dr. Mark Sperling, Assistant Superintendent for the Merrillville Schools, to begin the bidding process for an upgrade to the Planetarium. The upgrade would include replacing the discontinued lighting system around the dome with LED cove lighting, allowing over 65,000 colors to be placed onto the dome. The upgrade also will include an all-dome video projection system which will compliment existing equipment, with the primary goal of phasing out slide technology. By using a combination of computer hardware and projectors utilizing DLP technology, shows will no longer be bound to the Earth for presentation of the nighttime sky, nor bound on how images and video are displayed.

The School Board will announce the winner of the contract in early October.