Children’s Museum of Denver Breaks Ground on Multi-million Dollar Expansion
posted by: Guest Blogger
The Children’s Museum of Denver broke ground yesterday on a major Museum expansion, announcing the plans, timeline and a naming gift for the $15.8 million campaign. Museum president and CEO, Mike Yankovich, cited the “critical role” the Museum plays in early childhood education, and its 74% attendance growth since 2003 as the need for this much-anticipated expansion.
On a 9-acre campus, the Museum will more than double the current indoor and outdoor program and exhibit square footage, and add considerable guest amenities and parking. The project is slated to be completed fall/winter 2015. To date, $13.3 million of the $15.8 million campaign goal has been raised.
Eight new interactive exhibits, designed by the Museum’s team of education experts, exhibit designers and community partners, are based on the Museum’s core early learning focus areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Health and Wellness, 21st Century Skills, Literacy and the Arts. They include: a unique community tree welcome experience; a teaching kitchen; an art exhibit with clay and artist-in-residence studios; a whimsical dental health exhibit; a hands-in water laboratory; a kid-powered energy exhibit; a 3 ½ story climbing structure; and a year-round Colorado-themed outdoor experience.
New Museum Experiences:
· WELCOME – A community tree photo interactive will set the stage for a whimsical children’s museum experience with pictures of the diverse Museum audience populating a steel and wood art installation.
· FOOD – A fully working teaching kitchen with container gardens and aquaponics system will teach where food comes from, inviting children and their caregivers to prepare healthy foods together.
· HEALTH – Designed to captivate imaginations, the Village of Healthy Smiles will teach children and grown-ups alike the importance of dental health with spaces like “The Brush Together Cottage,” “The Toothfairy’s Workshop,” and “Sugar Bugs Plaza.”
· WATER – A 2,200 square-foot hands-in water laboratory that highlights an urban water system will give young scientists opportunities to explore the properties of water, investigate flow and test complex ideas about buoyancy, density and displacement.
· ENERGY – Children will find, collect and use resources like wind, solar, fossil fuel and others in this powerful 2,100 square-foot energy exhibit.
· ALTITUDE – A vertical 3 ½ story climbing structure will evoke the adventure of Colorado as guests encounter a swaying gondola, rope bridges, hovering clouds and an ice-capped summit with city views to the east and the Rocky Mountains to the west.
· OUTDOOR – A giant, invigorating outdoor experience will immerse children in unstructured, imaginative, independent play with features including canyons, rivers, fort building and a zip line.
· ART –In a 2,300 square-foot art exhibit and gallery, guests will experience visual art with raw materials, a clay studio, collaborative painting projects, art-rich programming and a year-round Colorado artist-in-residence program.
Based on a longstanding commitment to initiatives and projects that improve the quality and availability of early childhood education in Colorado, the Cydney and Tom Marsico Family Foundation is making a significant investment in the expansion of the Children’s Museum of Denver. The name of the new Museum, upon opening in late 2015, will be “Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.”
“We believe that the educational opportunities provided in a child’s early years are fundamental to a healthy, successful and sustainable future,” commented Cydney Marsico, president of the foundation. “It is our privilege to be included among such a distinguished group of corporations, foundations and philanthropists to support this innovative and ambitious new era for play-based learning in Colorado. The Museum’s dedicated Board and professional staff have worked tirelessly to envision a world-class facility for all of Colorado’s children, and we are thrilled to be involved.”
-Children’s Museum of Denver