In 1997 I received a grant from the National Science Foundation to build an astronomical observatory for Ithaca College. The design and construction of this observatory was probably the most exciting time I've had at IC. First light at the observatory was in September, 1998. Since then it has been used for research by physics faculty and students, and has been opened to the public for sky viewing on Open House nights.
The current Open House schedule can be found here.
Clinton Ford Observatory
CFO is named for the late Clinton B. Ford, who was a benefactor and trustee of the College and a famous amateur astronomer. He served for years as Treasurer and President of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). He became a member of the College's Board of Trustees in 1966 and was awarded honorary status in 1988, four years before he died.