The other night our chapter of AIA had a tour of the new Hands On Children’s Museum building site.
We were able to see the inside of the completed shell of the building and pat the YEW trees and hear about each activity and space. The building is LEEDs approved and has Green Globe approval of 4 points.
We were so celebrating all the local community effort which has gone into this project and we’re amazed at how closely Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and Thurston County (LOTT) all worked together to create this enhancing project. We know we spent many hours fundraising for admissions fees with SAND IN THE CITY and were amazed at all the donated doors and wood flooring – not to mention the hours and hours of volunteer time by parents and citizens to get this project planned and built. 9 Million to go!
It very much is a whole community project for our children.
The areas are versatile and designed for ages 0 to 10 with a huge outdoor exhibit and staging area. The LOTT treatment plant is next door and the clear water makes a stream that runs through both projects. Much of the heat and air services are provided by the sewage treatment plant next door to the new museum.
The theme that is celebrated in the new museum is WATER and WOOD. The flooring is amazing donated hardwood, with inlays of a compass, sea shells, and fish. The wood flooring is even in the stunning arts lab. There is a small area for the very smallest with a seashell water bed and toddler climbers. There are many exhibit areas to explore – with seating close by so parents can observe the exploration from close range and yet be free enough to just let it happen. There is a tree house, mother log, forest ceiling, tugboat with underwater exploration panels, a Carrot Café, a build – it and move- it center, a moveable exhibits gallery, and at least 4 more areas I cannot remember. There are lots of windows to Puget Sound and the rows and rows of sailboats on one side of the working port area.
There is a center climbing area up to the 3rd floor forest with nets and ladders and a slide down (Mom or Dad can be close by the reluctant climber as they have a special 3 story stairs that foundation the structure)
The high point of the whole event for me was the talk given by designer Alisa from the PORTICO design group. This is a person who loves her work and particularly her work with Children’s Museums. The care and concern that was designed into these exhibits and her enthusiasm just added star powered energy to this community project.
Thank you for a wonderful evening about a new experience for the children of our community.
Has your whole county rallied around a project for the children in your area that truly stands out? How many volunteers participated in your project? Looking forward to your links and sharing.
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