Special to 1812Blockhouse from Buckeye Imagination Museum
Buckeye Imagination Museum (previously known as Little Buckeye Children’s Museum) is thrilled to announce that it will be opening its new facility to the public on Wednesday, August 10. Its new building is located just two blocks away next to the Renaissance Theatre at 175 West Third Street in downtown Mansfield in the Imagination District.
The museum will be open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM to start.
“We are excited to welcome guests into our new facility, which we feel will better serve them,” says Fred Boll, Executive Director, “Our new building features a zero-level entrance and an elevator which allows us to be more accessible. It also has a parking a lot, which will be much more convenient to our guests.”
“We are delighted at the many new opportunities this building offers us” shares Museum Manager, Suzanna Roemer, “With added space and private classrooms we will be able to offer more programming, private parties, and new events.”
Buckeye Imagination Museum will be moving out of its rented West Fourth Street location in July. Their last day of operations at West Fourth Street will be Saturday, July 16, 2022. From then until their opening date at West Third Street on August 10, staff will be busy moving everything to the new building in time for opening day. The museum will not be booking birthday parties or field trips at this time; however, staff looks forward to accepting new bookings after they get settled into their new home.
Members, however, will receive exclusive access to the new building a few days early. Members of the museum are invited to a Members Only Day at the new Buckeye Imagination Museum on West Third Street on Saturday, August 6, 2022, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
“We want our members to be among the first to see our new space and help us get acquainted with it,” explains Boll.
If you don’t have a membership, yet, but would like one it’s not too late. Visit littlebuckeye.org/service/membership/ or stop in at their present location on West Fourth Street between now and July 16 to purchase a family membership. All current museum memberships will transfer to the new building. No membership expiration dates or benefits will change. And guests can rest assured, any valid Little Buckeye Children’s Museum gift certificates or one-day passes will continue to be honored as normal.
Buckeye Imagination Museum, which is part of the Imagination District, originally began construction in January of 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shut down in March of 2020, construction was halted by state mandate. But that didn’t stop the project. The joint capital campaign between Buckeye Imagination Museum and the Renaissance Performing Arts Association for the Imagination District announced its successful conclusion in February 2021, just as state mandates on construction were lifted, and construction resumed. Today, Phases 1 and 2 of construction are nearly complete. The building, which was purchased by the museum in late 2018, had sat vacant for roughly 15 years. Since being purchased, the building has received a new roof, new windows, new HVAC system, completely remodeled bathrooms and flooring, and new electrical work. Repairs were also made to the elevator, and the parking lot.
Phase 3 of construction will begin in September 2022 and will consist of building the exhibits for the second-floor gallery which are designed for individuals ages 10 and up, along with outdoor improvements, and additional artwork. Phase 3 is anticipated to conclude in late 2023/early 2024. The museum will remain open during Phase 3 of construction. Conceptual drawings for first- and second-floor exhibits were designed by Kevin Haring at Splashmakers.
Follow “Little Buckeye Children’s Museum” on Facebook to stay up to date. For questions about hours, location, or anything else, visit littlebuckeye.org (and you will be redirected to their new website once it’s up and running) or call 419-522-2332.
“We are so grateful for the support of our donors, members, and the whole community,” says Museum Manager, Suzanna Roemer, “We cannot wait to share our new space with you and continue to provide a fun, safe, and enriching place to play!”
Photo: Buckeye Imagination Museum