NEW ORLEANS(WGNO) - The Louisiana Children’s Museum is ready to "take it outside."
That's why museum officials announced today that they're building a $45.5 million Children's Museum at New Orleans City Park.
The museum has been in the Warehouse District for the last 30 years, located at 420 Julia St.
The current museum is in an area that is difficult to park, and state officials made it clear today that the new facility will be accessible for all across the state of Louisiana.
The current location is 30,000-square-feet, and the new one will be on about eight-and-a-half acres of land.
LCM in City Park will have indoor and outdoor environmental elements, including decks, bridges, sensory and edible gardens, a floating classroom and a restored interpretive wetlands area.
The LEED certified building will sit on less than one acre, overlooking a lagoon.
“We are thrilled that the educational exhibits – indoors and out – will take advantage of the natural park setting,” said Julia Bland, CEO of LCM. “This new facility will give us the environment, resources and tools to positively impact early learning and education – a critical need in Louisiana which regularly falls at the bottom of national educational rankings.”
The new campus will include five new indoor exhibit galleries, as well as a literacy center, a parent-teacher resource center and a café.
Other museum additions will include a life-sized interactive chess board that will teach children about New Orleans history, an experiential floating classroom on the lagoon’s edge in the wetlands environment and a Mighty Mississippi exhibit which tells the story of the journey of the River from the Twin Cities, through St. Louis and Memphis, all the way to the Port of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico.
“While we will have these wonderful new exhibits, LCM is not going to forget some of the much-loved features from Julia Street, including the grocery store and bubbles,” added Bland. “Guests will enter through the ‘VestiBlue,’ a nod to our iconic big blue doors.”
The museum is expected to open in 2018 and draw 225,000 visitors per year.
The children's museum raised the $45.5 million needed for the project through private donations, federal grants and support from the state of Louisiana.
Major donors include Boysie and Joy Bollinger, The Jaeger Foundation and Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, along with more than 330 other donors.