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Wonderscope to build new $12M children's museum in south KC

Posted: 6:29 AM, Feb 21, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-21 12:00:08-05

Kansas City will soon be home to a new children's museum. 

Wonderscope announced its plans Tuesday morning to build a $12 million facility at the Red Bridge Shopping Center in south KC. 

The children's state-of-the-art museum will be around 30,000 square feet with plenty of lighting and wide open space.

Voters also approved a ballot issue to fund a new library at the Red Bridge Shopping Center. Between these two buildings will be a 300-seat auditorium for community events. 

The plan is set for the library and museum to work together to bring interactive educational exhibits to the kids of Kansas City. 

The process of raising funds for the project begins today. 

The Wonderscope Children's Museum is currently located in an old school building in Shawnee, which has limited space for visitors. 

The Mid-Continent Library will also be next to the new Wonderscope. They will share some common areas like an auditorium that can be used for community events.

Organizers say the love to play and learn goes well with early childhood development and literacy, all things the both organizations represent.

"What we offer throughout the museum is different experiences based on STEAM, science, technology, engineering, apps and math, together for social and emotional sensory development. Everything for the whole child to develop and be ready for kindergarten," explained Roxane Hill, executive director of Wonderscope. She says they're learning is geared for kids eight years and younger.

Why moving to Missouri?
Steph says the new location is accessible to families living in both Kansas and Missouri. Parking is good. They want Wonderscope to be a destination.

Where is the money coming from?
The money is coming from fundraising. They expect to raise all $12 million from donors. Eventually the owner of the current Wonderscope will sell the building it's in, with proceeds going to the organization.

The current Wonderscope sees about 70,000 people each year. They say don't stop coming until the building actually sells, which is quite a ways down the road.

Wonderscope hopes to break ground late in 2018. It hopes to open in 2019 or 2020.

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