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South Bend Schools Re-opens Renovated Kennedy Planetarium

Jennifer Weingart
WVPE Public Radio


South Bend Community School Corporation officially re-opened the Kennedy Academy Planetarium today after a 100 thousand dollar renovation.

Students from across South Bend schools and neighboring districts have classes in the planetarium to learn about astronomy and other science topics.

The Planetarium at Kennedy Academy was built in the 70s. Since then it’s been renovated a few times but it was in need of an overhaul.

The money came from Farmers Insurance Thank America’s Teachers competition. Planetarium director Lisa Artusi initially couldn’t believe the school had become a finalist

“I said, ‘I’m sorry I have State Farm insurance.’ And they said ‘no, no, this is serious’ and tears of joy came into my eyes and then we immediately enlisted the public as much as we could.”

The community voted and the Kennedy Planetarium won. The money was used to replace the seating, carpet and walls. Convert the old star ball to an LED and add laser and digital capabilities for the dome. 

Artusi says she hopes in addition to the kids, the planetarium can also be used for community events and classes in the future.


Contact Jennifer at or follow her on Twitter at @jen_weingart


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