The Kopernik Space Education Center will be starting the new year without wondering if the first phase its long-awaited science-themed playground will take flight.

Last week, $55,000 was presented by Broome County officials for the project.

The observatory on Underwood Road in Vestal and the Binghamton Junior League have spent five years raising around $700,000 for the playground that will be accessible and encourage learning using Science, Technology, Engineering and Math concepts.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Kopernik Director Andrew Deskur says construction on the facility is underway and the county funding will allow officials to start ordering the educational equipment for the project.

It’s hoped the playground can be ready for use by late spring.