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Russell C. Davis Planetarium renovations projected to be complete by 2025

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News.

The Jackson Planetarium is continuing to acquire the funds needed to make renovations to the nearly five-decade-old facility, with the city officials voting in agreement to establish an endowment last week.

Jackson City Council members voted 4-0 in approval of allowing the Friends of the Russell C. Davis Planetarium to create an endowment with the Community Foundation for Mississippi on Friday. Councilmen Ashby Foot, Brian Grizzell, and Kenneth Stokes were not present for the vote.

According to the council, the endowment would allow for more donations to be made available to the project in the future, as millions have already been allocated over the past four years.

In all, the planetarium has acquired upwards of $16 million for renovations following the donations of $1 million from the Community Foundation of Mississippi, $500,000 from the Junior League of Jackson, $1.5 million from the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, $2 million from the state, and $6 million from the Jackson City Council in previous years.

Renovations have included the redesigning third-floor exhibit area, installing new exhibits to replace the over-a-decade-old displays, creating an adaptive learning space on the second floor, and building a new atrium on the ground floor.

At this time, the project is anticipated to cost close to $22 million — a jump from the estimated total of $12 million in when renovations were first announced in 2020. Construction is currently scheduled to be complete by the end of July 2025.

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