Alan B. Shepard Discovery Center
The Laconia Congregational Church was originally constructed in 1907. Bauen Corporation completed phased renovations of the existing church over a two year period to revitalize and reconfigure areas of the church. Phase one of the project included a complete renovation of the kitchen. New code compliant kitchen equipment was installed and the overall layout and size of the kitchen was improved. In phase two a second story bridge and new entry lobby were added to the church. The bridge addition was constructed as a link between the Sanctuary and the Parish House where Sunday School is held. The new entry added an enclosed entrance to the church elevator as well as a lobby area for parishioners to meet and mingle on Sunday mornings.
The addition to the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium (now known as the McAuliffe/Shepard Discover Center) was started in late fall of 2007 after Bauen won this state project during a very competitive bid process. To keep with the planetariums desired schedule, foundation work was completed during NHs record winter of snowfall using ground heaters and lots of snow shovels!
The building features a state of the art, energy efficient building envelope with an energy management system, along with a glass elevator. The new observatory offers visitors a chance to view outer space through two telescopes. The buildings roof structure is designed to support the weight of suspended aircraft and spacecraft flown by Alan Shepard during his illustrious career.