Ulrich Pavilion, the new observatory addition, will be finished by the end of October. It was named by the company, Ulrich Lifestyle Structures when they donated the building. The added space allows room for community members and photographers to mount telescopes on the floor and snap detailed photos of the night sky. Ulrich Pavilion also has an electronic roof that rolls in and out, allowing people to observe the night sky from within the building.
Jerry Becker, Thomsen Observatory manager, says the space was frequently overcrowded with visitors. The pavilion was constructed to resolve this situation. When there were star parties, many telescopes would have to be set up and taken down each time, rather than having them all set up in one place.
The pavilion plans to be open from 7 to 10:30 p.m. on the first and third Fridays of each month on Linden Street in Cleburne, Tx, next to the Thomsen Observatory. When asked how the Pavillion was funded, Becker replied, "God provided every dime."
Carpenter, Bob Holtman, assembled the wooden structure of the pavilion in just four days and assisted in installing the steel I-beams. Known as, “Bob the Builder,” Holtman gets the job done. The metal design and construction was created by Gary Voth, who owns a metal shop near Keene. Liquid Stone in Burleson contributed the concrete floor, which was completed in November 2020.