County gets preview of Kaleideum and how much it’ll cost

County gets preview of Kaleideum and how much it’ll cost
May 24
05:00 2018

County commissioners got a look at what the new Kaleideum children’s museum may look like during their briefing last week.

The county is paying for construction costs for the new museum that’ll be built on the site of the former Sheriff’s Office building on Third Street. It’ll be the new home to the merged SciWorks and Children’s Museum, which are now known as Kaleideum. Since the ceilings in the existing building aren’t high enough on some floors for museum exhibits, the current proposal is to demolish it and build a new four-story 72,000 square-foot building for the museum, which will have a nature-inspired outdoor space on its rooftop.

When considering all the costs related to building the new museum and inflation that’ll take place by mid-2020, the estimate for total construction cost is now $30.3 million. The commissioners already pledged $17.4 million for construction under an earlier estimate. County property sales have covered some of that amount, but the county plans to find a way to cover the remaining $10 million in its upcoming budget. Kaleideum is requesting an additional $12.4 million for the revised estimate as well.

County Commissioners Everette Witherspoon, Don Martin and Dave Plyler all voiced support for the project. Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt asked if Kaleideum felt it could fulfill its commitment to raise $10 million for exhibits for the new museum. Honorary Campaign Chair David Neill said that the museum is dedicated to raising that money and the county will not be on the hook for it.

“The fallback is not the county,” he said. “The fallback is banging on that door a little harder.”

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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