61
      Saturday
      73 / 60
      Sunday
      75 / 62
      Monday
      81 / 66

      International Dark Sky Park explores expansion

      T he Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Emmet County may soon get a facelift.

      T he Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Emmet County may soon get a facelift.

      C ounty officials are in the early stages of planning a multimillion dollar renovation.

      O ver the last few years the popularity at the park has skyrocket ed and now the county is trying to keep up with the demand

      " The building that we have there currently is not functioning well for us ," said Laurie Gaetano, Emmet County Parks and Recreation Director.

      Gaetano said the building is too small and needs updating.

      T hat's why they have begun drafting plans for a multi-use building to replace it with.

      " There is a lot of interest for people to come up here, but we really don't have the facilities at this point," said Lyn Johnson, Emmet County Controller.

      T he plan calls for a building that has an observatory, additional outdoor seating , and public restrooms.

      T his is the first step in a three phase project that will take years of planning and millions in grants, donations, and public funding.

      " We already have a pier down there , which needs to be reconstructed , because it's falling apart ," Gaetano said.

      T he pier needs a complete renovation that has a price tag of $1.5 million. The county has already received one grant to help pay for it and they have been looking for more funding.

      T he final phase of the plan calls for a building at the front of the park , which will have a planetarium, history mus eu m and planet themed playground for kids.

      T his project is still in the early stages of development , but one principle remains the same.

      "W e want to be able to have people utilize what's there and learn from what's there, but not destroy or hurt or any way hinder the various elements that are there," Johnson said.

      T here is no set date for when all of the projects will be complete but they hope to get started on one of the buildings in 2014.