Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/2/2010 (3747 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Manitoba Children's Museum unveiled plans for its largest renovation ever Thursday afternoon, mixing the old and new to completely revamp the historical CN train-repair building.
A brand-new cube-shaped entrance will be built on a slant, designed to look like a spacecraft. The 3,500-square-foot entrance will lead into the old museum space, which will be transformed into a miniature city designed around the idea of children's building blocks.
"It will not only entertain, but secretly educate," said director of education and exhibits, Sara Hancheruk.
The total renovation will cost $10 million, three-quarters of which has already been raised through corporate and individual donations and both federal and provincial infrastructure grants.
"We're really looking to the community to come forward for the rest," said the museum's executive director, Diane Doth.
The museum will close this fall and reopen in the spring of 2011 with twice as many exhibits.
When children enter a year from now, they'll be greeted by a massive slide painted on the inside with optical illusions. At the top, children can use a periscope to take a look at the rest of the museum.
And seeing it all could take a while.
To the left, a giant cow acts as the entrance into a dairy farm where kids will learn all about modern farming by touching, hearing and even milking a (fake) cow.
Further down is Pop M'art, a crafts area where kids shop for recycled supplies and then use them to create works of art.
Kids walk through a city facade in the Tumble Zone to find tables with more than 1,500 blocks to build and destroy. One table will simulate an earthquake, rumbling and shaking until the block towers come crashing down.
At the back is Lasagna Lookout, a six-metre play structure that's five layers high. Each will challenge visitors with a pasta-themed activity such as dodging meatballs and crawling through a fettucini tunnel.
Twelve-year-old Michael Ogoms, who first visited the museum when he was only two and hopes to volunteer there one day, said he is looking forward to the pasta play structure the most. "It looks really fun," he said.
Areas for nature-themed relaxing, an enormous bubble wall and a soft space with sensory activities for little ones, among others, will come together to create a museum that is "pushing the envelope," said Montreal designer Laurent Carrier.
Carrier, who has been working on children's museums for almost 20 years, said he specifically made the space flexible so it could be changed in the future.
"The concept will stay but if an exhibit is worn out, they can add to it or transform it into something completely new," he said.
Noticeably absent from the plans are old staples of the museum, such as the five-metre oak tree slide and the yellow punch buggy.
"It was very hard to make decisions," said Doth. "Some things are in such need of repair or would be so impossible to repair that we've just had to say goodbye."
But not everything is leaving.
Though it will be renovated, the historic Canadian National Railway train No. 9161 won't be chugging away any time soon. As an integral part of both the museum and the city's history, it will remain where it has always been, at the centre of it all.
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