Children’s Museum of Atlanta plans major renovations
Jane Turner has a talent. She can see the future while eyeing the present.
It’s the only way the executive director of the Children’s Museum of Atlanta can navigate a floor littered with plastic balls, cast-off costumes, fake corn on the cob — and, of course, children: infants, toddlers, elementary-age youngsters, all of them bumping, falling, laughing, crawling, dancing, hollering at mom.
All of them learning. It’s the reason why the museum in downtown Atlanta exists.
The reason, too, that the museum will close in August for a $8.2 million rebuild and face-lift. When the facility on Centennial Olympic Park Drive reopens in December, said Turner, visitors will discover a facility with an enhanced emphasis on STEM — science, technology, engineering and math.
The facility will add two new permanent exhibits. Workers will install an L-shaped mezzanine to bring the museum’s space to nearly 20,000 square feet. The museum also will build a permanent performance space for the Imaginators, a troupe of professional actors who regularly regale visitors.
The four existing galleries will get some additional pizazz, too.
The changes, said Turner, stem from two years of research — of asking parents, educators, museum and child care professionals what changes would make the museum better. Employees even asked kids what they wanted. The museum augmented that with a 2.5-year capital campaign that is nearly complete.