Construction of Arizge: Guzet's future inclusive astronomical laboratory has been suspended

Construction of Arizge: Guzet’s future inclusive astronomical laboratory has been suspended

Construction of the future astronomical observatory above the Guzet station in Ariège was scheduled to begin in 2022. It is the first infrastructure in Europe to accommodate people with motor, mental or visual impairments. The building permit was condemned by the Environment Committee before the Executive Court.

In the middle of this school holiday, the weather will be mild at the height of the cassette. The terrace of one of the resort’s restaurants was packed. Families enjoy some decent rest after several descent in the morning and before the sun sets behind the surrounding peaks. The aroma of roasting indicates that the meal plan is somewhat neglected. A few steps from the terrace, two stone steps lead to a restaurant that appears to have been neglected. The campus is actually generously lent to an association, while the campus finds a group to occupy the kitchens.

This is where Ciel d’Occitanie stays temporarily. At the entrance, the first model of the solar system immerses the audience in the atmosphere. We are discovering and understanding the uniqueness of our universe. A little further on, large plant panels describe the history of the study of stars. On the field, Jack Croziers is indescribable.

At an altitude of 1,700 meters above sea level

But the president of the association is not currently in a good mood. At the very least, it is obscured by the recession in the joint venture. He plans to build the only astronomical laboratory in Europe. “We are very committed to recruiting people with disabilities. So we want to create a new place where they can come to do more embracing astronomy. In our opinion, we have found the right place, ”begins the amateur leader of the stars. I.e. at an altitude of 1,700 meters above sea level, above the slopes of the resort, in an area of ​​unused ski area. “The station already had communications, hotels and restaurants welcoming visitors. We wanted the building to be environmentally responsible and energy-free to have a minimal impact on the environment,” Jack Crocier continued.

Waiting for a truck to be built

The projects are drawn up, the community of municipalities takes on the role of project leader, securing about 700,000 euros in funding between public and private partners. Everything seems to be on the right track. “But that was the beginning of the problems. Knowing this process well, the Ariège Environment Committee decided to condemn the building permit (see elsewhere). Despite the support of the scientific community shown by the association, the process stalled.” Nothing else can be done! It’s really a shame, ”laments Jack Crocier.

While waiting (or deliberately stuck) until the ban is lifted, the association has not stopped its efforts. “We bought a truck and it will be a kind of mobile monitoring station,” said Seal D’Axidani, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau.

A meeting will be held in the Couserans Pyrénées community on Friday, March 4 to find a solution and take a new step towards implementing the monitoring station.

Embodied astronomy

To help the blind understand astronomical principles, the association manually creates models of the solar system, using a camera mounted on an astronomical telescope to set up sound workshops to put the functions of large-scale planets into perspective or projects. , Keep an eye on the optics and see what the average man can see. Some models may explain eclipses, why summer days are longer than winter, and even temperature differences … “Often, they allow the viewer to better understand the events.”

This area is “not suitable” for Ariège Ecological Collective.

A new infrastructure above the Guzet station? This opportunity has elevated the Ariège Environment Group (CEA). The federation condemned the “initially verified” building permit, according to Ciel d’Occitanie, before the Toulouse Executive Court (TA).

Jean-Pierre Delorme, co-chair of the CEA, responds, “We are not opposed to this initiative, which seems interesting to us. However, we went there and believed that the planned site was in a protected area and not suitable for this type of infrastructure. This is a natural area and you can not build where it does not fit. I think so. “

It is above the cassette that the astronomical laboratory should be established.

It is above the cassette that the astronomical laboratory should be established.
DTM Archives – Denise Slack Mulder

Another shortcoming raised by environmental activists is the legal terms of the project. “According to our lawyer, the location of this building is not in line with the local urban plan,” Mr. Tellorm explains. It is unfortunate that the CEA was not invited to this Friday’s meeting in the community of communes. Although the first foundation stone of the future laboratory is expected to be laid by the end of 2021, no maneuvers have yet been launched. If asked, the Directorate of Regional Departments, contacted by Prefecture, has not yet responded to our requests regarding the situation.

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