Planetarium has grand opening

| April 12, 2018

A ribbon cutting was held to commemorate the grand opening of the Planetarium. Ribbon cutting participants were; from left, Grant Fauver, Coshocton High School principal, Felicia Drummey, Treasurer, Mrs. Bob (Kathi) Crown, Charles Hathaway III, Ron Derewicki and Dr. David Hire.

COSHOCTON – Major donors and guests enjoyed a special demonstration at the grand opening and formal ribbon cutting of the Planetarium at Coshocton High School on Wednesday evening, April 11. Lisa Gibson served as the emcee for the event and Dr. David Hire, Superintendent of Coshocton City Schools presented a special proclamation from the Ohio Senate and plaques recognizing the efforts of individuals and major donors.

The Planetarium has been in existence since 1962 in Coshocton. Gibson said that when it was announced that Central Elementary School was going to be demolished the phone started ringing. “It was Mr. Ron Derewicki and he wanted to know what was going to happen to the planetarium.”

“We are looking at a lot of stars sitting out here tonight”, said Gibson.

Dr. David Hire said, “Isn’t this wonderful? This is just a phenomenal gem for our community, for our schools and we couldn’t be prouder of the work our planetarium committee has accomplished. I am excited for our community, our staff and our students.”

“We know that future generations are going to be able to enjoy this planetarium. This is really state of the art. You’re going to find some of the same things that you would find at Ohio State.”

“This was a small dream but Ron (Derewicki) was really relentless. He wanted to make sure that everything continued to happen. He and Bob Crown worked tirelessly to make this happen. This would not be possible without your financial contributions and support. This is really for our whole community. If there is a need, this community never fails to surprise me by stepping up. We’re hoping that this is really going to inspire our kids to pursue science type of careers.”

City of Coshocton Mayor Steve Mercer said, “This is just a fantastic facility. When I saw this for the first time, I thought, what a great asset for the community. I hope you find it as awe inspiring as I have. I look forward to the contribution this new addition has on our city and our county.”

Charles Hathaway III, planetarium committee member and the prime contractor for the planetarium explained how the decision was made to house the planetarium in its current location in the high school after looking at several possible sites including the exterior of the new elementary school. “Even a stand-alone building was considered. We looked at adding on to the high school or finding a space inside the building. Other spaces inside the building were considered. All of a sudden this space became available and this is where it ended up.”

Steve Clark, Coshocton City Schools Board of Education member said, “This came from a dream to an idea. At the point it became an idea people got together – a group of people that had like thoughts, energy and enthusiasm and were ready to go. One of those members was Bob Crown. He would be Ron’s sidekick. He had such tremendous love and energy for the planetarium. He was always there. He wanted this to happen and he loved this place. He is a part of this place. Bob passed away one year ago today, today, when we’re dedicating his dream. His wife and kids are here today and we want them to know how much we appreciate him. He is still here with us, I believe it. Looking down, he has a smile on his face. He’s happy.”

Clark presented a plaque that will be displayed on the wall of the planetarium that reads, “In memory of Bob Crown for all his enthusiasm, commitment and tireless effort for the Planetarium Project. Given by the Save the Planetarium Committee.”

“The people on the committee will never forget this man and what he gave and what he did.”

Dr. David Hire said, “As all of you know, there needs to be a torch bearer when you have a project. They grab that torch, they light it and they carry it around. Why do they do that? I think they do that so when others are drifting off and maybe not paying attention they can say, ‘There’s the light over there ’. Our torch bearer probably used that torch to light some fires when they were needed. Our torch bearer was Mr. Ron Derewicki. Truly, without him this would not have happened.”

A plaque was presented to Ron Derewicki from the Coshocton City Schools that will be on display at the planetarium and another plaque was presented that Ron can display at home.

Kathi Crown said, “Bob would be overjoyed. This was his passion. He wanted this back so badly. This is awesome, just awesome. It just meant a lot to him. This is more of a celebration of his life tonight. It’s sad that he is gone and this is the day that he passed away (one year ago) but what an awesome tribute and I am overjoyed to be a part of it. I really am. And my kids are here too.”

Following the ribbon cutting and special proclamations, Ron Derewicki talked about several of the special items and photographs that are on display in the planetarium. Guests were then treated to a special presentation of “Back to the Moon for Good.”

The planetarium is now open to the public for showings and you can follow the schedule and reserve a seat at www.coshoctonplanetarium.com. Currently presentations are free to the public. The Planetarium has a seating capacity of 50 in plush red and black reclining seats.

Save the Planetarium Committee members are; Ron Derewicki, Chairman, Peggy Bowman, Bob (Kathi) Crown, Dr. Clayton and Lisa Gibson, Charles Hathaway III, Marla Hawthorne and Geralyn Raach.

The prime contractors were Hathaway, Inc. and Ash Enterprises. The demonstration was given by Ron Derewicki, Planetarium Committee chair, Tim Ward, 6th grade science teacher, Wendy Turner, 5th grade science teacher and Jason Kodysz, high school science teacher.

Major donors to the planetarium are; American Electric Power, Coshocton City Schools, Coshocton City Schools Board of Education, Coshocton Foundation, Ralph D. & Judy Wisenburg Fund, Charles E. & Dorothy S. Bechtol Fund, William & Sue Brown Donor Advised Fund, Simpson Family Donor Advised Fund, Coshocton Kiwanis Club, Coshocton Rotary Club, Hathaway, Inc., Allen & Belva Lauvray, Montgomery Foundation, Inc., Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, Peoples Bank Foundation, Saba Family Trust, Schooler Family Foundation and the Timmons Foundation.

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    Mark Fortune

    About the Author ()

    I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.