During the spring of 2019, Dr. David Swindell, ASU professor in the Department of Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Urban Innovation, guided his masters-level students as they conducted a feasibility study for this project. Their 29-page report yielded much valuable information along with estimated construction costs and a 5-year proforma of operating costs that helped assess feasibility and guide further research.
At that time, the facility was referred to as the Astroscience Discovery Center (ADC). Since then, the name was changed to International Dark Sky Discovery Center to reflect the theme and vision that was adopted.
The conclusions of the feasibility study include the following:
– “Building the ADC will fill a gap in space-science education for the local and neighboring area school districts. The market for observatories and planetariums has shown its resolve through similar facilities that are able to sustain themselves.
– “Additionally, community support for building of the ADC is strong. This is critical for establishing a lasting relationship between the ADC and town residents. This project is supported by the mayor, the town manager, and the local school district of Fountain Hills.
– “Not only does the ADC contribute to the local economy in Fountain Hills, but also to the global astro-tourism industry.”
The IDSDC Board is very appreciative of the work done through Arizona State University and have applied the findings to the ongoing planning process.