Regional
1:08 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Kidzeum Receives State Grant, Construction Starts Soon

A long awaited children’s museum in Springfield is a step closer to becoming reality.   Construction on a building for the Kidzeum of Health and Science will begin this year.
 

Credit WUIS/Lee Strubinger

A $1 million dollar grant from the state, along with an additional $675,000 in TIF funds from the city of Springfield, are enough to get the work underway.  The facility will occupy the old Schnepp and Barnes building,  a nearly 70 year old structure on East Adams in the downtown area.   

Despite the latest money coming in,  the fundraising will continue.
 
Kidzeum Board Chair Rachel Thomson says they're still a million dollar short for operational costs...

"It's going to take more than a miracle, it's going to need this community.  This project is going to benefit the Midwest and the state of Illinois, but the reality is that it's in Springfield's back yard.  And it's a community project and this community needs to support it," Thomson says.
 

Credit WUIS/Lee Strubinger

The goal of the museum is to teach children about health, wellness and the human body.   Thomson says the Kidzeum could open next year.

"So, we're in a good position if things and momentum keep moving the way that they are that we will start construction later this year and open in summer of 2015," Thomson says.