Construction work on new Parkersburg childrens’ museum in progress

WTAP News @ 5 - Former Masonic Building being transformed into children's museum
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 5:27 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Some time next year, a vacant downtown Parkersburg building will be the site of new childrens’ museum.

Construction work on the project is under way.

There are 300 childrens’ museums around the country, including some in places like Athens, Ohio and Charleston’s Clay Center.

But Tres Ross, Executive Director of the Ross Foundation, the organization involved with Parkersburg’s museum, says the 13,000 square foot museum will be the largest in the region.

It will be located at the former Masonic building, located at 9th and Market Streets, built in 1915.

It was purchased by the Ross Foundation in early 2020, and although development was delayed by the pandemic, it resumed late last year.

What are planned are classroom and interactive exhibits, focusing on science, technology, engineering, math, and, of course, the arts.

It’s expected to open in late 2022.

”There was planning a while back for this,” Ross told us Wednesday. “But at that point, it did not come together. They are now working on bringing in, for this area-in Parkersburg, specifically, this will be the first one, that is physically downtown, in Parkersburg.”

The developers are estimated 25,000 people will visit the museum in its first year of operation. Most will come from a 90-mile radius of the Parkersburg area. A large number of those visitors will come from school groups.

The museum is aimed at youngsters eight years of age and younger, although there will also be attractions for those up to 15 years of age.

Developers believe the location, about a block away from the Parkersburg Arts Center, makes it attractive to establish a museum there.

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