HIGH POINT — Even as the outer shell of High Point’s new children’s museum has begun to take shape, plans for the fun and learning that will happen within the museum walls have begun to evolve, too.
“We’ve got some things you’ll see in most children’s museums,” said Megan Ward, executive director of the Nido & Mariana Qubein Children’s Museum, “but we also have some things we’ll be announcing later that you won’t find anywhere else — exhibits and programs that are unique to High Point.”
Among the highlights planned for the museum are a “kid-sized town” that will feature a lot of sights found in High Point, a fitness lab, a furniture design studio, a water play area, an outdoor adventure garden with a dinosaur dig, and a Mars Academy, where children can experience what life would be like on Mars.
The water play area will be divided into two sections — one for toddlers and another for older children. The section for older kids will include such activities as boat racing and a working dam modeled after the one at Arnold J. Koonce Jr. City Lake.
“We visited City Lake Park and learned all about that,” Ward said. “Kids will be able to learn about where and how High Point gets its water.”
Ward also promises jaw-dropping fixtures throughout the $27 million museum — including a glass elevator in the main lobby — that will captivate children’s sense of wonder.
“Nido Qubein (one of the museum’s namesakes) keeps finding these furnishings and designs for what’s going in the museum that are colorful and whimsical,” Ward said. “It’s going to be really cool inside — it’s going to feel magical.”
Meanwhile, the massive steel skeleton of the two-story, 58,000-square-foot structure dominates the corner of Montlieu Avenue and Hamilton Street, having evolved from a large field of red dirt.
“The building is really coming to life now,” Ward said. “The bones are built — the structural pieces of steel — and now we’re moving to the rough-ins, exterior framing and masonry part of the construction. We’re making good progress, and we’re aiming to be done and ready for opening in the fall of 2021.”
Ward stressed that the museum will be so much more than an impressive building.
“This is going to be something that makes High Point a better place to grow up,” she said. “It’s going to be a memorable part of childhood for all our kids.”
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