One-of-a-kind digital dome to be installed at Danville Science C - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

One-of-a-kind digital dome to be installed at Danville Science Center

Posted: Updated:

The Danville Science Center is getting a one-of-a-kind addition.  Construction is underway on a brand new, state-of-the-art digital dome theater.  Thursday morning at 8am, a crane will lift the dome onto its base.

The unusual structure is 44 feet tall and will be able to sit 100 people.  Science Center Executive Director Jeff Liverman says all 360 degrees will be completely covered with high definition, digital screens that will put guests right in the middle of places like space, the ocean, forests, and all kinds of different environments.

The $3.4 million project is a collaboration between the Science Center, the City of Danville, the Danville Regional Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Liverman says they wanted to add something like this to enhance the learning experience for kids and families across the region and to make science more fun and interesting.

"For a region our size, there's nothing like it," said Liverman.  "You see facilities like this in much larger cities, so we're really privileged to have something like this."

Liverman and city leaders hope in addition to getting people excited about science, the dome will get people excited about visiting Danville.

Last year, about 31,000 people visited the Danville Science Center.  They estimate the dome will attract 40,000 in its first year -- then 32,000 - 40,000 each year after that.  Liverman says that translates to a $344,000 annual impact.

They expect most of those visitors to come from the Danville area and its surrounding communities.  Twenty-five percent, though, they believe will come from the entire Southwest Virginia region and North Carolina -- giving Danville greater exposure.

"We feel the location of the Science Center near the Dan River and downtown has been a catalyst for changing this whole region," said Liverman.  "All this traffic we see now on this road, that wasn't here ten years ago.  There's a real enthusiasm and excitement what we're calling the River District here in Danville."

After the dome is installed, crews will spend several months adding insulation and then ultimately the screens and projectors.  The dome is on track to open by late fall, early winter of this year.

Not wanting to waste a learning opportunity, the Science Center recently opened an exhibit all about construction that shows how a dome is built.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:42:32 GMT
    Thomas Allen WinstonThomas Allen Winston
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
  • 12-year-old accidentally kills little brother in Franklin Co.

    12-year-old accidentally kills little brother in Franklin Co.

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:24 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:24:35 GMT
    The Franklin County Sheriff's Office says a 12-year-old year boy accidentally killed his 7-year-old brother. Deputies received a 911 call about shots fired on Tuesday, April 21 stat 11:46 a.m.
    The Franklin County Sheriff's Office says a 12-year-old year boy accidentally killed his 7-year-old brother. Deputies received a 911 call about shots fired on Tuesday at 11:46 a.m.
  • Roanoke Mother stands up against bullying after son's suicide

    Roanoke Mother stands up against bullying after son's suicide

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:05:18 GMT
    A Roanoke County mother is standing up against bullying after her 16-year-old son committed suicide. Maxx Poff was found dead on February 20th from a gunshot wound. "Maxx was a lover. He wasn't a fighter and it just kills me to know the pain he was going through for somebody bullying him," Maxx's mother Dianna Poff says. Roanoke County Assistant Police Chief Chuck Mason says detectives heard information was being circulated through social media that suggested bullying was the mean reason fo...
    A Roanoke County mother is standing up against bullying after her 16-year-old son committed suicide. Maxx Poff was found dead on February 20th from a gunshot wound. "Maxx was a lover. He wasn't a fighter and it just kills me to know the pain he was going through for somebody bullying him," Maxx's mother Dianna Poff says. Roanoke County Assistant Police Chief Chuck Mason says detectives heard information was being circulated through social media that suggested bullying was the mean reason fo...
  • Fire at Saw Mill in Bedford County is under investigation

    Fire at Saw Mill in Bedford County is under investigation

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:55 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:55:50 GMT
    A fire ata saw mill in Bedford County is under investigation. It happened thisafternoon around 5 at Central Virginia Pallet and Stake on Centerville Road.Bedford County's Fire Chief says there were no injuries, but the owner estimates the damages at about $75,000The chief says thefire is still burning, and it will likely burn for a few days, but it is contained.The cause of the fire is unknown, butit's believed to be accidental.
    A fire ata saw mill in Bedford County is under investigation. It happened thisafternoon around 5 at Central Virginia Pallet and Stake on Centerville Road.Bedford County's Fire Chief says there were no injuries, but the owner estimates the damages at about $75,000The chief says thefire is still burning, and it will likely burn for a few days, but it is contained.The cause of the fire is unknown, butit's believed to be accidental.
  • 29 Virginia High Schools on Personal Finance Top-100 List

    29 Virginia High Schools on Personal Finance Top-100 List

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:32:06 GMT
    29 schools in the Commonwealth, including many in our area, ranked the the nation's top 100 best high schools for personal finance instruction.
    29 schools in the Commonwealth, including many in our area, ranked the the nation's top 100 best high schools for personal finance instruction.
  • Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office investigating juvenile death

    Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office investigating juvenile death

    Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office investigating juvenile death

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-04-22 14:50:58 GMT
    Deputies were called to Double Oaks Lane in the Burnt Chimney community, where they found a seven-year-old boy with a gunshot wound.
    Deputies were called to Double Oaks Lane in the Burnt Chimney community, where they found a seven-year-old boy with a gunshot wound.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.