Relocation still in the works for Children's Museum

Relocation still in the works for Children's Museum
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - For years the Children's Museum in downtown Lake Charles has been looking to move, and back in June it was agreed they would, thanks to a cooperative agreement with the city.

But preliminary site plans were due by the end of the year, causing the museum to ask for an extension, and having some wondering: is the museum still moving?

While kids enjoy activities inside the Children's Museum, executive director Dan Ellender is thinking about the museum's future.

Because soon the museum, with some of its unique exhibits, will have a new home.

That new home will be at the corner of Gill Street and Lake Shore Drive, just next door to Millennium Park.

Back in June the city of Lake Charles and the museum entered into a cooperative agreement.

That agreement would allow the museum 180 days to come up with a preliminary site plan to determine how much they would spend to build their new museum, but just recently they went before the city council to ask for an extension.

"To get the plan we had to hire consultants, and that took us a good bit of time to get those hires, so that's why our extension came into play," said Ellender.

The consultants will spend months conducting a study that will look at various things that will go into the museum's site plan.

"They're going to be doing fundraising studies, and also feasibility for the property size, property business plan, and all of those glamorous things that are involved with a museum," said Ellender.

The city understands the delay, but they believe building this new museum will be a benefit to our community.

"By them being able to start from scratch, build a whole new building rather than just grow and accommodate within a building that already exists, they'll be able to really customize a lot of their exhibits to current expectations," said Lori Marinovich, executive director for the city's Downtown Development Authority.

Building a new museum has been an idea for close to ten years, but that idea will turn into a reality hopefully children will be able to enjoy very soon.

"We'll have some new exhibits, and some really nice things that we don't have here and we're excited about it," said Ellender.

While the museum will be responsible for paying for the building, in the cooperative agreement, Marinovich says the city received grant funding from the Dow Chemical Company that will also go toward constructing the new museum.

The extension the Children's Museum asked for was 150 days, so they'll be back before the city council with their preliminary site plan in May.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.