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Space-themed playground suggested for Armagh Planetarium

A space-themed playground has been put forward as a new development option at Armagh Planetarium, Armagh I can reveal.

The suggestion has come from the outgoing director of Armagh Planetarium, Dr Tom Mason.

It comes during the course of long-running debates between the Southern Education and Library Board and the management of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium.

Discussions have been ongoing around a request to lease land, owned by the Observatory and Planetarium, for the Armstrong Primary School.

This was to allow the school to meet the requirements for outdoor play.

But the main problem for the Planetarium has been that the area required for intended lease is currently used for rocket launching by visiting children six days a week.

Dr Mason has previously expressed his reluctance to lease the land, saying it would place constraints on current and future use by the Planetarium and Observatory.

And, during the course of a lengthy debate at a recent meeting of the Observatory and Planetarium directors, Dr Mason informed the committee that a new option had emerged.Planetarium

This included the installation of a space-themed playground – which could be installed in the Planetarium car park – behind the building where they launch water rockets.

This, he suggested, would be available to both pupils and visitors to the Planetarium.

The committee has also been told that the Armstrong Primary required land to decant to while work was ongoing in the school.

He said this work appeared to require the installation of portacabins for classes to move into on a temporary basis. 

A meeting took place last November with the SELB architect and, in January, with an SELB official.

Another meeting is to be arranged for both directors with education officials to discuss this ongoing issue.

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