In mid July it was announced that the Lake Afton Public Observatory would be closing. The reason for the closure was due to lack of funding by Wichita State University (Who has been taking a loss for the pas several years in operating costs associated with the LAPO.) as well as lack of public interest in the facility. The LAPO is scheduled to have it’s final event on August 22nd, whereupon it will close it’s doors one final time.
Kansas Astronomical Observers have stepped forward and proposed a plan to the Sedgewick county commissioners board to take over operations of the LAPO from WSU. They will use the the member base and volunteers to help operate the facility as well as look at revamping several aspect of the LAPO. Opening the observatory up to lest restrictive funding is one of the major goals of KAO to help offset cost of operations, as well as make changes to the advertising and media involving the Observatory.
We will update this page as we can to reflect new aspects of the effort to keep the observatory open. For more information and details, please visit the following external resources:
Too bad that observatory is closing (Opinion piece)
Would be great if observatory could stay open (Opinion Piece)
We are also encouraging anyone that is interested in volunteering or donating to KAO in this effort to please reach out to us. Please refer to our contacts page on how to reach out to us.*
*As we are able to, more information will be added specifically for volunteer and donation options