Westmont College President Gayle D. Beebe and the Board of Trustees dedicated the college’s new observatory and surrounding athletic facilities in a Thursday morning ceremony.
Despite having faced numerous challenges in the search for a suitable location for the observatory, Ken Radtkey of Blackbird Architects said that the new building is ideally situated, between Carr Field and the track along the new campus road. “The observatory actually winds up functioning as a day and night observatory,” Radtkey said. “We have been so pleased by the way the observation deck is used not just for the stars and heavens at night, but for baseball games and track events and other things to observe your friends and colleagues on a day-to-day basis.”
The new observatory houses the powerful Keck telescope, which is available for public viewing every third Friday of the month. The computer controlled 24-inch telescope will be better equipped for extended exposure photography and gather twice the amount of light with nearly twice the resolving power as its 16-inch predecessor.
Construction continues on the Adams Center for the Visual Arts and Winter Hall, which are expected to debut by the end of the year. The college kicked off its Bright Hope for Tomorrow campaign in Santa Barbara last month, beginning a nationwide tour to raise $40 million to fund the completion of these facilities.