The New Planetarium at Orange Coast College to Cost $20 million

According to the article on Los Angeles Time, a new planetarium which is being built at Orange Coast College (OCC) recently received a $1-million boost in the form of a gift from a retired instructor. The donation from Mary McChesney, the former professor, will be used in funding a Foucault pendulum, which is a device used in demonstrating the rotation of Earth.


The Costa Mesa college officials said that it’s going to be an unparalleled pendulum of its class in Orange County. McChesney, who is now 91 years, stated that the new planetarium is going to be a hub of scientific studies for the surrounding community and college students. She had grown old, but her love for the college is still alive. McChesney donated in tribute to Adelyn Bonin, her late partner. Bonin was also a professor at Orange Coast College; she taught German till she retired in the year 1983. McChesney said that she knew Bonin would also be happy donating the fund.


According to Doug Bennett, OCC Foundation executive director, before retiring, McChesney taught Spanish and English at OCC for more than three decades, also in 1983. Throughout the years, McChesney has been a regular contributor of scholarships and the foundation. The new facility is going to include an auditorium with 129 seats plus an exhibit hall that will feature a National Oceanic as well as an Atmospheric Administration Science that will be on a Sphere display globe.


According to Bennett, the total budget for the new planetarium is around $20 million. Most of the funding comes from the bond measure of 2012. OCC has received donations of around $2.6 million toward the project, with McChesney’s donation included. The officials of the college are aiming to open the planetarium by the fall semester of 2018.


In the U.S., OCC is among the top transfer institutions. It’s ranked the third position across CA for combined CSU and UC transfers. The U.S. has over 5,000 community colleges, and the OCC ranks sixty-fifth in the awarding associate degrees. It provides low-cost education in the skilled professions, licensed trades, and trades.


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