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University of Chicago Officials Reiterate Yerkes Promise Before Big Crowd

Williams Bay--Hundreds of people from the Geneva Lakes area and as far away as Chicago came out to a public meeting Friday night to speak their concerns and ideas for saving the University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory in Walworth County.

In its heyday Yerkes was known for being the birthplace of modern astrophysics and home to U. of C. graduate students such as Carl Sagan and Edwin Hubble.

The University announced in early March that it would be winding down operations at the 120 year old Williams Bay facility and bring events, tours and educational outreach programs to a close on October 1st.

In a packed school auditorium near the 77 acre campus of the world renown home of the world's largest lens type telescope, University of Chicago administrators took feedback from citizens for 90 minutes. Edward "Rocky" Kolb, Dean of the Physical Science Division, told the crowd that Chicago is committed to finding the right buyer or foundation proposal to keep the facility and its equipment intact.

Save Yerkes Foundation Spokesperson Chuck Ebeling told WGTD News that his organization is actively seeking a coalition of non-profit entities that could keep the property as is, including its large acreage of undeveloped lakefront property.