Planetarium receives upgrade


Above, Mr. Adrian Portland stands next to the old equipment that has been in use since it was installed in 1966. PAHS is 1 of the four schools in Pennsylvania that have their own planetarium, and observatory.

Astronomy and Biology teacher Mr. Adrian Portland is an out-of-this-world teacher at PAHS. He is currently awaiting the renovation for the planetarium, which is the only school in Schuylkill County to have its own planetarium and observatory. The renovations will start as soon as school is finished.

The renovation process was first announced with Dr. Yoder and the Building and Grounds Committee. After a few months of research and discussion, the idea was passed by the Board of Directors at the March School Board Meeting.

Currently Spitz, INC, the company where the new equipment is being purchased from, is fabricating a new dome. The dome takes four to five months to be manufactured and will be ready for installation in late July early August. Once the new dome is in place the projector, sound system, lighting, and seats will be installed.

Mr. Adrian Portland was featured on WNEP News Station on March 16 to discuss his plans and ideas for the new planetarium at Pottsville Area High School.

Everything is scheduled to be installed and ready for class on September 17, 2023 at the latest date possible. The original equipment was installed in 1966 and has been in use since its installation.

“There are so many things we will be able to do with the new system that we were not able to do before,” said Mr. Adrian Portland. “I think the thing I am most excited about is that students and community members will get to enjoy the night sky in all of its glory for years to come. We have been able to offer this for the last 57 years and with this renovation hopefully another 50 years.”