With massive renovation complete, Morehead announces reopening :: WRAL.com

— Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is opening again—after closing its doors for a multi-year renovation that was extended because of COVID-19.

The longtime Chapel Hill destination officially announced today that it will reopen its doors on Saturday, Nov. 7.

“Morehead has inspired millions since opening in 1949,” said Director Todd Boyette in a press release. “As we’ve grown, however, our building was no longer fit for purpose. This renovation provides a cutting-edge facility that matches our innovative programs.”

The new space offers more room for exhibits and programs that highlight multiple STEM disciplines. Exhibits in the building’s rotunda will focus on Morehead’s history and astronomy roots. The new Breakthrough Hub will feature interactive displays that demonstrate research from UNC scientists working in a variety of fields, including biology, marine science and biomedical engineering.

Colorful galaxy
Michael G. Neece, author and educator at Morehead Planetarium

The renovation also includes the installation of a new elevator and ramp to the basement where bathrooms and a hallway exhibit are located, making it easier for those with mobility issues.

The reopening comes with new COVID-19 protocols.

  • Visitors will be required to reserve two-hour timed tickets online ahead of time.
  • All guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask.
  • The number of patrons will be limited to 25% or less of the building’s capacity at any given time.
  • Physical distancing will be enforced throughout the building, including in the 200-seat fulldome theater.

“We are encouraging all visitors to read our new safety protocols in details before planning their visit,” said Malenia Swinton, marketing and communications manager and team lead for Morehead’s reopening task force, in the press release. “The safety of our visitors and staff remain our top priority and we hope that everyone appreciates the effort we have put into creating a safe and engaging experience.”

Visitors also will noticed some new pricing. For general admission and a planetarium show, tickets will be $12.95 for kids ages 3 to 12; $14.95 for adults; and $13.95 for seniors and students with an ID. Kids under age 3 are free.

For now, according to the press release, visitors will be able to take advantage of a temporary $3 discount because of the COVID-19 limitations.

More information is on Morehead’s website.

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