Evansville Museum inflates during renovation - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Evansville Museum inflates during renovation

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If you drove past the Evansville Museum on Friday, you probably saw a giant balloon. Just how does this balloon fit in with the museum renovations?

To help put the size of this project in context, the balloon is 36-feet tall and nearly 70-feet wide.

"When I heard him say it was 60-feet, I thought 'Woo! That's going to be big,'" says Rita West.

West is one who stopped by for a look to see the first step of what will become the tri-states first immersive theatre. Project Jeff Williams says it's so different from their typical work that an Idaho company called Dome Technology was brought in. A foam will be sprayed inside the inflated balloon then a steel cage will go up.

"Then they'll bring in their pumps and they'll spray granite, which is basically a sprayable concrete," says Williams. "Kind of like they do swimming pools with thin layers. It's a five week process to build a five-inch thick concrete dome."

Eventually, two projectors will show a seamless image on the ceiling. The museum's Science Director says it will replace the current planetarium, which was the first in Indiana.

"The technology today is so much more advanced than what was even available 10, 15-years ago," says Mitch Luman. "With this new cinema technology, we'll not only be able to do traditional planetarium show but go beyond that and show films as well."

This is just one piece of the museum renovation. It's schedules to open in January, 2014.

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