GREAT FALLS – Later this month, the City of Great Falls will make a decision on the lease for the Children’s Museum of Montana.
The museum currently resides in a city-owned building, but cramped quarters at the Great Falls Civic Center has the city looking for space to spread out.
“Anybody that’s been into Municipal Court and downstairs, that’s not a great situation for security and for jury trials, we need to find some additional office space,” says City Manager Greg Doyon.
Instead of building something new, city officials want to use what they already have and that means the museum will have to find a new home eventually.
“The current agreement allows them to extend their lease for five years which we will be recommending to the commission that they approve,” says Doyon.
If the city does approve extending that lease for the next five years, it will give the museum some breathing room.
“It’s a little bit of both a hurdle and an opportunity,” says Morgan Mitchell, director of the Children’s Museum of Montana. “If we’re moving we have the opportunity to expand what we offer to come back with a fresh environment for the kiddos,” she adds.
They hope that their next location will be more permanent.
“We are definitely looking to purchase,” explains Mitchell, “The lease worked here with the city for 20 years it’s been amazing but we really want the stability of our own place.”
If the city does renew the lease the museum will continue raising a goal of 3.5 million dollars to purchase and prepare their next home.
The city is scheduled to discuss the museum’s lease in a work session November 20th.
Reported by Joe Huisinga