Greensboro Children’s Museum Expansion Project and Capital Campaign Revealed
In a kickoff event on October 6, the Greensboro Children’s Museum (GCM) announced a $3 million “Reaching Greater Heights” capital campaign, along with an expansion project that includes the addition of three major areas. The museum has already reached 80 percent of its campaign goal, and is now asking for the community’s help in raising the remaining dollars required to make the project a success.
The kickoff event drew museum supporters, champions of Greensboro and invested community leaders, including Greensboro mayor Nancy Vaughn and Cone Health Systems EVP People and Corporate Services, Dr. Noel Burt, who spoke about the museum’s essential presence in downtown Greensboro. GCM CEO Marian King reviewed the plans for exterior and interior remodeling, while campaign chairs detailed the impact these plans will have not only on the museum, but also on the landscape of downtown Greensboro.
During the event, honorary campaign chairs Steve and Jackie Bell unexpectedly donated an additional 10 percent to their already significant Reaching Greater Heights campaign gift, earning a round of sustained applause and rounding out the total donations at the time of the campaign and expansion announcement to $2,450,000.
“We are all here because we believe in the future of our community and we know it begins by providing an enriching environment for our youngest minds,” said Susan Schwartz, Greensboro Children’s Museum board chairperson.
Expansions planned as a part of the “Reaching Greater Heights” campaign include an outdoor play plaza, indoor winding river water feature and kid-friendly technology center. Two European-imported 30 feet tall Neptun XXL Climbers connected by a suspended net tunnel at a height of 25 feet will make up the outdoor-play plaza, the only ones of their kind in the world. The expansion project will also include a redesigned entrance to the museum to better accommodate school groups, community groups and families. The new entrance will include a bus drop-off, shade and rain structure and automatic doors.
“With these additional exhibits, the programs we already offer and the support of our community, our goal is for the Greensboro Children’s Museum to be the best children’s museum in the Southeast,” says CEO King.
The expansion project has already begun, with site work underway and the climbers en route from Germany. The outdoor-play plaza is expected to be complete by spring 2017, while construction on the water feature and tech center will begin in 2017.
“The Museum’s mission is to encourage learning through play. Just last year alone, GCM served 11,203 school field-trip attendees including students from North Carolina and Virginia, of which 40 percent were on scholarship. These field trips support the Common Core and North Carolina Essential Standards for school groups pre-K through 8th grade,” said Vaughn. “This is a fabulous platform for nurturing creativity, critical thinking and the love of learning in our children, and I can attest that these expansions are an affirmation of the capital investments happening in our Gate City.”
For more information on the Greensboro Children’s Museum visit www.gcmuseum.com.