Children’s Museum plans $15.7M expansion

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The world’s largest children’s museum is about to get bigger.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has filed plans to build a $15.7 million expansion that will add 37,500 square feet of space including a new welcome center, bus driveway and bike port.

The project is slated to begin in the next few months and finish in time for the arrival of a blockbuster King Tut exhibit scheduled to open in June 2009, said Craig Emsweller, the museum’s vice president of operations.

A preliminary rendering shows a towering glass entryway with a large dinosaur statue, mirroring the dinosaurs outside the existing Dinosphere exhibit. The project also will extend a skywalk into the museum, provide a safer entry drive, add landscaping and relocate a library branch within the museum.

Funding will come from a $12.5 million Federal Transportation Administration grant and a 20-percent local match, Emsweller said.

It would be the largest expansion since 2004 for the 433,500-square-foot museum, which sits between Illinois and Meridian streets north of 30th Street.

A public hearing on the project is expected on Aug. 14.

To see a rendering of the project and share your thoughts, go to IBJ’s Property Lines real estate blog.

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