If the Hansen Planetarium moves, which it probably will within the next few years, where would you like it to go?
Your alternatives are the Gateway area west of the Union Pacific Depot and the University of Utah's Research Park.Officials are split as to where is the best place to go.
"Based on the information I have right now, I think the research park is a better match," Salt Lake County Commissioner Mary Callaghan said Thursday. "I think it's important to keep the planetarium and the Museum of Natural History together - co-located."
The U. manages both the Museum of Natural History and the planetarium, the latter in cooperation with the county. The museum is looking to relocate from its current location in the central campus to the research park.
Research park land has already been donated for the planetarium, now in downtown Salt Lake City.
But Roger Boyer, who is developing a large parcel of land behind the Union Pacific Depot, is offering free land there, too. His director of special projects, Stephen Caine, said planners had anticipated the planetarium's move to that area even before Boyer got involved.
"My guess is the planetarium would benefit significantly from downtown traffic and being located close to other cultural facilities," he said.
Consultants recently concluded a cultural master plan for Salt Lake City that includes plans for the planetarium and other, similar facilities in the Gateway area, such as an IMAX theater and children's museum.
Callaghan's colleagues on the commission, as well as almost all Salt Lake City officials, advocate continued discussion of the Gateway area as a possibility.
The planetarium will probably move from its present location in two to three years because of lack of parking space. In addition, the building, originally a library, was not built with a planetarium in mind, and another building could contain more and better functions.
"Planetarium technology is changing so rapidly right now," said planetarium director Sarah George.