Lake Afton Public Observatory Project

In mid July 2015 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 had been taking a loss for several years in operating costs associated with the LAPO) as well as lack of public interest in the facility. The LAPO scheduled its final event on August 22nd, 2015.

Kansas Astronomical Observers have stepped forward and proposed a plan to the Sedgwick 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.

The Lake Afton Public Observatory officially re-opened its doors on September 3, 2016.

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:

Lake Afton Public Observatory to close

Wichita State to close Lake Afton Observatory in August

Lake Afton observatory closing

Too bad that observatory is closing (Opinion piece)

Meeting to discuss Lake Afton Observatory

Would be great if observatory could stay open (Opinion Piece)

Astronomy club to offer plan to keep Lake Afton Observatory open

Club encouraged by Sedgwick County response to Lake Afton Observatory plan

KMUW 89.1 Lake Afton News

Local Astronomy Club Works to Save Observatory

Lake Afton Public Observatory attempts to stay open under new hands

Lake Afton Observatory to close, astronomical group looks to reopen facility later

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