Children’s Museum of Montana plans for the future

Posted at 2:53 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 18:46:57-04

GREAT FALLS – Public input is a key factor for the Children’s Museum of Montana (CMOM) as they look ahead to the future.

On Tuesday, the museum’s staff hosted a public hearing and heard from community members about what they hope to see in the museum.

CMOM Executive Director Sherrie Neff said the meeting was a success.

The museum was able to nail down a few ideas for the future.

The adopted design features are listed below:

  • Net Zero Goal and sustainable exhibits to teach
  • Recycling
  • ADA: continue and grow ‘sensory street’ for special needs’ exhibits
  • Use of native plants and rocks for aesthetics
  • Local contractors to build
  • Permanent historical exhibits: mining, hydro-electric and dams, farming, ranching, military, Indian Nations, railroad, timber, National Parks
  • Revolving educational exhibits for k-12: basics for each grade to be successful, advanced for each grade to ignite the passion of the gifted
  • Greenhouse
  • Small youth theater for performances and drama, competitions such as science/robotics, dance, battle of the bands, and public speaking events

Suggestions from those who attended fell under three main categories: exhibits, community services and events.

A few of those included, but were not limited to: project space for teens to work on wood, metal, drafting and photography projects, mentor/tutoring program, youth government and debate clubs, movie sets and performances, a fishing program, and much more.

Neff said they will have exhibits that will touch on sister museums such as the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, CM Russell Museum and Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art.

The museum has about four and a half years before their current lease with the city ends.

“The idea right now is we start the design with what we want in it. Who we’re going to serve, what we’re going to do. We’re going to increase our capacity, increase our ages to all ages and so the design phase is really important,” Neff said.

There will be another public hearing on May 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the museum.

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Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News