Danville Science Center Installing Digital Dome - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Danville Science Center Installing Digital Dome

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Construction is nearly complete on the Danville Science Center's new $3.4 million digital dome.

Officials hope the project will get people more excited about science, and more excited about coming to downtown Danville.

Representatives from the Science Center says it's first and foremost about giving people a learning experience they've never had before.

But in partnering with the city and the Danville Regional Foundation on this, they hope it means good things for the local economy.

Installation of the 44-foot dome began around 8 this morning.

The dome can seat 100 people, and is essentially a 360-degree high-definition screen that will put visitors right in the middle of all kinds of environments.

Last year, about 31,000 people visited the Danville Science Center.

They estimate that 40,000 people will come to see the dome in its first year, and that it will continue to attract 32,000-40,000 people each year.

They say that's about a $344,000 annual impact.

They expect most of those visitors to come from Danville and its surrounding communities, and 25 percent from across our entire region and North Carolina.

They say that's important because it gives Danville more exposure.

"We feel that the location of the Science Center near the Dan River and near downtown has been a catalyst for changing this whole region," says Jeff Liverman with the Danville Science Center. "All this traffic we see now on this street, that you're hearing right now, this wasn't here 10 years ago. There's a real enthusiasm and excitement now about what we're calling the River District here in Danville."

Once the dome is in place, crews will spend the next several months installing insulation, screens, and projectors.

Right now, it's on track to open sometime late this fall or early this winter.