Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school. Director@SpaceCampUtah.org

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The School District has issued the Following News Release


 Hello Troops,
The Alpine School District released a statement on the Space Center. 


News Release

The Christa McAuliffe Space Center, which has been housed in Central Elementary School in Pleasant Grove, has been closed due to safety reasons. The Fire Marshall closed the Space Center in early October because of electrical problems. Alpine School District Officials notified Central Elementary School as well as the Program Director that the Space Center will not be re-opened in its current location. Superintendent Vern Henshaw has directed a committee to explore options for a Space Center, which will then be presented to the ASD Board of Education.

Staff and volunteers, please send me an email list of your private property still at the Space Center.  I'll let you know when and where you can come pick it up.

It was suggested we throw a goodbye party for the old Space Center at Central School and let everyone see the ships one more time.  What do you think?  One final photo in the Voyager's Captain's Chair?  I'll let you know.

The Troubadour will continue as an online home for friends of the  Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.   News of the new science and math center will be posted here ONLY after it has been released by the school district.

Specific questions about the closing of the Space Center should be directed to Rhonda Bromley at the District Office in American Fork.   

Mr. Williamson

72 comments:

Nathan Winters said...

Oh. My. Goodness. The Space Center won't be open in Central anymore? AH!

Annika said...

no.....i don't believe it.....the space center is closed for good? I full on vote all the way for a staff/volunteer goodbye party. I'd need to say goodbye one last time *sniffle*

Juliette said...

I am in shock. Victor! What can we do? How do we protest? There has been way too much invested to let this go.

Just tell us what to do and we are on it!

Anonymous said...

What can we do?

Emily Milner said...

This is devastating to my eleven-year-old son, who did a day camp this summer and had his birthday party there. He was looking forward to many more missions, and wanted to become a volunteer. What can we do to change the proposed math and science center back to the Space Center? If there are board meetings to attend or petitions to be signed I would like to know about them. You may not be able to say anything as a member of the exploratory committee, but I hope the Facebook page founders can help us with this.

I am sure the district has their reasons. But that Space Center was so very wonderful for my son and I hate to see it turn into something that maybe educational but will lack the thrill, the team-building, and the joyful memories of the Space Center.

Nathan Young said...

Hundreds of us have spent thousands of hours at the Space Center. There has to be something we can do.

What are you going to do with the phasers? the costumes?

PLEASE. We need to have a staff goodbye party. PLEASE.

Anonymous said...

This is awful. There has to be something we can do. Petition anyone? How many signatures would we need? And if we can't do anything, we have to have a goodbye party. Are you going to continue with the Imaginarium and the Troubadour
?

Nathan Young said...

Hundreds of us have spent thousands of hours at the Space Center. There has to be something we can do.

What are you going to do with the phasers? the costumes?

PLEASE. We need to have a staff goodbye party. PLEASE.

Nathan Young said...

Hundreds of us have spent thousands of hours at the Space Center. There has to be something we can do.

What are you going to do with the phasers? the costumes?

PLEASE. We need to have a staff goodbye party. PLEASE.

Anonymous said...

;(. This is horrible.

Christy Carlson said...

Wow, please reconsider. Nothing like hearing and seeing your daughter burst into tears as she read the press release. I vote that the space center open in a new location. I think learning about space and technology in such a fun way, made a hugh impact on so many. I think a staff/volunteer get together should be in order.

Christy Carlson said...

Wow, please reconsider. Nothing like hearing and seeing your daughter burst into tears as she read the press release. I vote that the space center open in a new location. I think learning about space and technology in such a fun way, made a hugh impact on so many. I think a staff/volunteer get together should be in order.

Christy Carlson said...

Wow, please reconsider. Nothing like hearing and seeing your daughter burst into tears as she read the press release. I vote that the space center open in a new location. I think learning about space and technology in such a fun way, made a hugh impact on so many. I think a staff/volunteer get together should be in order.

Isaac O. said...

I was on the last voyager mission... As a observer... I got my job, the day we closed... We HAVE to stop them from closing us, I will chain myself to the simulators if it means stoping them from tearing it down. I agree with you Juliette... Can we atleast somehow get them to rebuild or move the simulators somewere else? Everyone else comment on this blog post, this is the most important blog post EVER!
Also, I agree with the goodbye party, but lets let the campers come to...

Isaac O. said...

Natalie, if we get 1000, mabey it would make a impact... But im all with you, anything to save the simulators....

Anonymous said...

Mr. W. messages and comments keep coming in, can you talk to us through the comments, this one time? We need to hear your voice, and you will NEVER stop being the director of the space center to me!

Rylie said...

This.. just broke my heart. I can't believe they actually had the nerve to close it down. The Space Center is one of the best places you could ever go. Needless to say, I really want to rebel. How can they just.. shut it down..

Anonymous said...

Oh, no. This breaks my heart. I have loved going to the Space Center, and I've watched my brother go there time after time. He loves it. This is one of the few places where he has been able to express himself and find people who understand him. He really feels at home at the Space Center. It has given him a wonderful opportunity to grow, learn, and have fun. Where else can we find anything like this?
My brother's dream was to become a volunteer, but he had to finish his Eagle Scout Project first. You don't know how hard he's worked to finish it, looking forward to the day he could apply to be a volunteer. He won't let me see him cry, but I know that's what he's doing right now. Please. There has to be some way to preserve this amazing place. So many of us are counting on it.

Angie said...

Everyone who is concerned about this needs to email the district superintendent and the school board members. Post this on Facebook and spread the word. We don't want another science/math center. The space center is unique and offered something that you can't get anywhere else. Let Alpine School District know this.
Dr. Henshaw - vhenshaw@alpinedistrict.org
Board member email links - http://alpineschools.org/board-of-education-2/board-members

Brady Young said...

We definately need to do a big reunion before the district rips the rest of our hearts out and tears our lives apart. And I have dibs on getting piggy from the voyager control room!

John Robe said...

This brings tears to my eyes, as I'm sure it has for many other people. First I would like to express my deepest sadness for you Mr. Williamson, I'm sure that this news pains no one more than yourself. Secondly I wish to express my greatest appreciation for the Space Center and what it has contributed to my life. Without the space center I would simply not be anywhere near where I am today. I would no nothing of programming, and would have spent this summer so extremely bored at home all day. Instead I was able to get a job programming at a tax software company. I simply owe all my skills and my professional career to the Space Center. Thirdly, I would like to be one more voice to opinion that it should not be created as a math and science application center. One of the greatest things that drew me to the Space Center was simply that, Space. I feel that it is a deep tragedy to remove that aspect. Space Exploration has brought on many technological advances, and there is a still a deep love shared by many people for Space. Lastly I would love to have a final staff party.

Once again, I am so sorry for you, and I hope that you enjoy your new found free time.

Thanks,
John Robe
Software Engineer - Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center

Anonymous said...

How much could the repairs cost?
I have heard up to 700,000 in repairs! You could buy the school for that much! At max, I dont think that the repairs should cost more than 50,000!

Chrissy, said...

This was such a great experience for those who got to participate. Lots of learning was done in that center in fun dynamic way. I think you should open up a space center separated from the school district. Everyone I know loves it. I think people would still come and pay for it too.

Julie Gritton said...

Someone needs to organize a protest. I'll sign a petition, I'll even picket the district offices if it'll help. Apparently the district doesn't understand what the space center teaches. We're not just talking science and math here. We're talking real life team-building, leadership skills, and confidence. Anyone?

Caitlin said...

I can't believe it. Is there anything we can do? The Space Center was my favorite part of grade school.
-Caitlin (your former student from 6 years ago)

Anonymous said...

I had no issue with Common Core until now...

Anonymous said...

A goodbye party would be in order...

Conner James said...

Holy crap!!!! This cannot be happening....I was there on the voyager a few months ago, as communications. Had the whole bottom level to myself and a bunch of my friends. It was probably one of the most fun times I've had before becoming a working adult :( can't they just take time to rewire? Or something?

Oak said...

It is envisioned to drop the Star Trek feel and help with Common Core?!?!?!?! No WAY!

Anonymous said...

Oh my what a shame. I used to volunteer here about 4 years ago. I didn't have hardly any friends, but when I worked at the space center I did. It was a place of refuge for me. Im 16 now and go to PG Hkgh. I have a lot of friends now and everything's fine, but I thank Mr. Williamson and others for their hard work and kindness. This was more than just a "space center" for me. Thank you for your dedication and hard work, Mr. Williamson.

Annika said...

if there is a pension...i want to sign it :) I really want to do something about the closing. The Space Center has affected too many people and has changed too many lives (mine included) to go quietly. I agree with Rylie and Juliette: rebel, protest do something! The Space Center is too different and too special to be let go of. Mr. W...you will never stop being the Director of the Space Center :)

Tearin said...

Mr. Williamson,

I know this has been a long and hard battle for many people, none more than you, but I do want to ask; is there any way to change their minds? The space center has had such a positive impact on me, my family and my friends and I wanted it to be there to have a positive impact on my children as well. What would it take to include space simulations into this "new project" that the district has suggested? So far, the reports show that it is not anything as new and special and effective as your brilliant space center was, and I would like to know what we as individual patrons, as business owners and as future hopeful attendees can do to bring the real Space Center back to Utah County.

Please let me know what it would take, how to start, and whether you are willing to continue the fight.

Taffy said...

If anyone can make a hands on math/science/tech center it will be Mr. Williamson!

jed-laura said...

yes, this is sad. I live far away- and this won't affect me, my own kids, or anyone I know closely right now, but I would help fight or sign a petition if there was one to be signed. The team-building and learning about solving problems was so important. To learn that as a child in a fun atmosphere that was magical and otherworldly... what kid doesn't dream of going to space. Now with funding gone for this and NASA, what is a child to dream of? Shoot for the stars- forget it- there's no fund for that.

jed-laura said...

This doesn't help kids. Children dream big. They need to be encouraged. Taking away funding for this and other vital programs teaches them that dreaming big and shooting for the starts is not important.

My kids are not affected by this as we live far away- but this seems very sad to me.

Izzy said...

I've been a big fan of the space center since a friend took me there last December and I'm not going to let this happen. I'm turning 14 today and was looking forward to final year than volunteering. I also have a 10 year old sister who was looking forward to four bright years of the centrer. My mom and I are discussing fund raising in an attempt to raise enough money to fix the centar and we are wondering what the possibilities of the center seperating from the district where. Is it possible? Would anyone be willing to donate money to saving the center?

Nathan Winters said...

Dear Julie Gritton,
I am SO willing to come and help you with that. SO willing! My friend and I are going crazy because of this news. Again, I am SO willing to join.
Thanks for saying that,
Nathan Winters

David said...

This is soooooo not going to happen without a fight. A Facebook page has been setup as a rallying point for Space Center supporters that already has nearly a thousand likes.

https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheSpaceCenter

The effort to save the space center is currently being organized here.

Anonymous said...

I fear being repetitive of above comments. But... I'm in shock as well. If the money was procured would that ensure the space center's continued existence? What exactly does a new math/science center entail?

Anonymous said...

I fear being repetitive of above comments. But... I'm in shock as well. If the money was procured would that ensure the space center's continued existence? What exactly does a new math/science center entail?

Anonymous said...

I fear being repetitive of above comments. But... I'm in shock as well. If the money was procured would that ensure the space center's continued existence? What exactly does a new math/science center entail?

Anonymous said...

I fear being repetitive of above comments. But... I'm in shock as well. If the money was procured would that ensure the space center's continued existence? What exactly does a new math/science center entail?

TRB said...

I fear being repetitive of above comments. But... I'm in shock as well. If the money was procured would that ensure the space center's continued existence? What exactly does a new math/science center entail?

Anonymous said...

I think I speak for everyone who has ever been to the Space Center when I say that we all want to do anything that we can to help save this place. The Space center has changed who I am, how I see the world, and gave me a fascination with the universe. No common core center could ever do that. I understand that the amount of control we have on this isn't very much, but I would give up anything and work for as long and hard as I needed to to raise the money, spread awareness, and keep the space center alive. This place affected the lives of so many people and brought a real sense of community, friendship, and created a family. I understand, that in its current state, the law doesn't permit it to remain open. I understand that we can't keep everything the exact same. But I also know that I won't something this unique and special and rare be slowly forgotten.

Anonymous said...

No!!! They can't do this! I agree with the petition, we could easily get 1000 people or more to sign it. So many people have fond memories of the Space Center. And if that doesn't work, we should still find some way to preserve it's memory.

Lindsey Hatch said...

Please. NO. Someone pinch me. This is a SICK NIGHTMARE. I am sitting in my room and my heart has stopped. I am crying so hard that the front of my shirt and my math homework is soaked with tears. I am with everyone of you. I was about to become a volunteer just as the center closed down. I don't think the district realizes that this place CHANGES LIVES. That's why working here was MY DREAM. I wanted others to feel the way that I do. They can't do this. Way too much is on the line. We aren't talking just the Space Center. We are talking about thousands of people who have anger and hope. They need to keep you open, and if they won't, I will open one in my garage if I have to!!!
LONG LIVE THE DIRECTOR!!!!
LONG LIVE THE SPACE CENTER FOREVER MORE!!!

Lindsey Hatch said...

P.S. I am forwarding this to ALL of my friends... they will forward it on & on.
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We need to do something, I feel like smashing my face in a wall of bricks. Nothing can replace the space center, ever. It breaks my heart.

Anonymous said...

we need to do something! I felt the most confidant that I've ever felt (I'm really shy) at the space center. They can't just take it away. We should get as many people as possible to email them and stuff. Sob...

Anonymous said...

Nearly 800 visits to the blog today. This is clearly having an immense impact on people.

Carson Mellott said...

Wow. This was all I could think about at work today. You don't just say goodbye to such a big part of your life in a press release and not feel lost. I haven't officially been on staff for a long time, but I'll be there for any party we throw. I was hoping to get in there and get on a flight one more time, but I guess a final farewell will have to do instead of a two year farewell. Such a shock.

Isaac O. said...

I sent a patition around today and got up to 115 people to sign it, IN ONE DAY!!! Guys, this is NOT going down without a fight! Lindsey, I really am sorry that It closed before you could voleenter, it closed the day I got my job D:
Guys, the district cant stop the center from doing this somewere else! Lets donate and everyone who has facebook like this page, its the "save the space center page"
https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheSpaceCenter

Guys, we HAVE to do something, many times today I was reminded that its closed, and I just cant accept it. Mr. W. please DONT sell any ships or ANY part of the ships, we can start bussniss somewere else! Please, almost everykid I asked today signed my patition, everyone LOVES the space center.

Anonymous said...

As someone mentioned before, make sure to write to the superintendent Vern Henshaw (vhenshaw@alpinedistrict.org) and your local school district board members (http://alpineschools.org/board-of-education-2/board-members). A lot of public outcry might help sway the decision.

This is terrible.

Annika said...

I'm with ya Julie Gritton! :D
I seriously started bawling my eyes out when I read this. Well first I screamed.... Part of my heart feels empty now... My brain hasn't registered this fully yet...still in shock...
I'm saying this because it's something I've learned dim the space center "if you dream it.., it can happen with hard work!" we need to do something..

jessica richardson said...

No! How can they do this? The space center gave me the most wonderful memories!! I will never forget the day I went on my first mission, it was the funniest ever! And then I went 6 more times. This place had given me so many amazing memories, I'm in tears right now. I do not want it to shut down, I love the space center, it's like my second home, and to hear that's it being shut down breaks my heart. Everyone, lets protest, if we let the space center shut down then the elementary kids that aren't old enough yet will never get to experience this. The space center is a magical place where you get to leave this world and explore new worlds, you get to fight pirates, aliens, etc. This place has helped me learn more then any math or science class you can teach. I won't let the space center be closed without a fight, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that kids can experience what I got to experience.

jessica richardson said...

No! How can they do this? The space center gave me the most wonderful memories!! I will never forget the day I went on my first mission, it was the funniest ever! And then I went 6 more times. This place had given me so many amazing memories, I'm in tears right now. I do not want it to shut down, I love the space center, it's like my second home, and to hear that's it being shut down breaks my heart. Everyone, lets protest, if we let the space center shut down then the elementary kids that aren't old enough yet will never get to experience this. The space center is a magical place where you get to leave this world and explore new worlds, you get to fight pirates, aliens, etc. This place has helped me learn more then any math or science class you can teach. I won't let the space center be closed without a fight, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that kids can experience what I got to experience.

Jericha said...

This can't happen!!!

Anonymous said...

If possible, I would like you all to watch this video.

What they say about the Space Education Center
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYOadpVEjXk&feature=player_embedded#!

Anonymous said...

I would like all of you to watch this video...

What they say about the space education center
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYOadpVEjXk&feature=player_embedded#!

Anonymous said...

I would like all of you to watch this video...

What they say about the space education center
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYOadpVEjXk&feature=player_embedded#!

Anonymous said...

This is horrible... The space center is one of the most unique places in the world. Kids can be whatever they want there, do whatever they want to do! We have to do something! I think we could easily get enough people to keep the Center's memory alive. Victor, if there's anything we can do, WE SHOULD DO IT!

Anonymous said...

This is horrible... The space center is one of the most unique places in the world. Kids can be whatever they want there, do whatever they want to do! We have to do something! I think we could easily get enough people to keep the Center's memory alive. Victor, if there's anything we can do, WE SHOULD DO IT!

Anonymous said...

This is horrible... The space center is one of the most unique places in the world. Kids can be whatever they want there, do whatever they want to do! We have to do something! I think we could easily get enough people to keep the Center's memory alive. Victor, if there's anything we can do, WE SHOULD DO IT!

Liam said...

This is horrible... The space center is one of the most unique places in the world. Kids can be whatever they want there, do whatever they want to do! We have to do something! I think we could easily get enough people to keep the Center's memory alive. Victor, if there's anything we can do, WE SHOULD DO IT!

Anonymous said...

The Space Center's programs do so much for the kids. Alpine School District obviously doesn't understand the growth that kids gain there. The staff that runs it does such a great job. Our son talks for days about his experiences there every time he participates. We can't let this place fall without a fight. I'm sure the community could raise enough money, 10 times over, what it would cost to fix the fire marshall's "issues" there. Long Live the Space Center!!!

macbezz said...

I definitely think a goodbye party is in order.

Rex said...

Thank you Victor and crew for the years of memories, the friendships and allowing us a chance to share both with you.

"Where one door closes may another one open."

To the future...
From the present...

-Rex Rouviere,
Captain U.S.S. Retributor
The Seventh Fleet

Baxter Elwood said...

There is no way they can do this. A new center that's not based on the simulators? That just seems like a slap in the face. I know they're trying to make it all work out, but there has to be something else they can do without closing the center for good. Couldn't they just start a donation fund to have the ships refurbished? I know it's a lot of money, but still... Maybe they could even allocate taxpayer dollars to refurbishing it, provided they went through the correct channels.
We can't just give up. I certainly won't. This center literally is responsible for my identity today. I doubt I'd be going to college for a degree in Space Physics if it weren't for Mr. Williamson and his wonderful starships. We just can't let this happen without trying fix it.

Lindsey Hatch said...

Thanks, Issac! It's been amazing the response that we have gotten! I had to go to an orchestra concert right after I found out... It wasn't my best performance, but I told a few people, and by the end of the night, people were asking where to put their signatures! And Baxter, sort of the same thing has happened with me. Before I came to the Space Center, I HATED science. Then I went, and I developed a passion. That was in fifth grade, and it lead me to win second at the BYU science fair. I went again last year several times, and it ignited my love even more. Had it not been for the Space Center, the Alpine School District's Science reputation would've been decreased. I was a national semi-finalist this year, and I know a boy who qualified and applied. Both of us loved science because of this place. We NEED to save the Space Center!!!

Annika said...

" It is envisioned to be a hands on learning center with activities based in the Common Core. This new center will help students better understand math, science and technology and the importance they play in the world today. This new emphasis will compliment District objects of helping students succeed in the modern world." This is from the post. Didn't the Space Center already do this?? Help with math, science,TECHNOLOGY, and their IMPORTANCE in the world? that they can change the world and follow their dreams??

PFC McKay said...

Vic If you need some mucsle for this let me know. If you need an acting coach for the new space center (Because There had better be one if we can't stop it.) Let me know. And I just wanted to say its been to much fun for us to let the old girl die with out a fight!
TO ARMS CHILDERN OF THE VOYAGER UNITE WITH ME FOR THE FINAL BATTLE FOR OUR HOLLOWED HALLS THAT IS THE CMSEC LONG LIVE VICTOR!

Joshua Barlow said...

WOW... it has been almost 2 FREAKIN YEARS SINCE THEY TOOK THE VOYAGER AWAY FROM ME... and I STILL have a GIANT HOLE IN MY HEART THAT WOULD CONSUME ME WHOLE... my only HOPE is that WE WILL REBUILD THE VOYAGER!!!!!!!!! I DON'T WANT ANYONE SAYING GOODBYE... THIS HAS BEEN THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME... AND NOBODY WILL TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME... DSC, thank you for rebuilding the space center, BUT THAT HOLE IN MY HEART CAN ONLY BE FILLED WITH THE VOYAGER... THE SAME EXACT VOYAGER, EVERYTHING JUST LIKE WE LEFT IT... EVERY SINGLE FREAKIN PEN JUST LIKE WE LEFT IT... EVERY UNIFORM JUST LIKE WE LEFT IT... EVERY SINGLE SMOKING BORG CORPSE... JUST LIKE WE LEFT IT... NOBODY SAY GOODBYE!!!!!! I WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!!!!! 2 YEARS LATER, AND I STILL HAVE A HOLE IN MY HEART!!!