tsmuseum

This is an artest's rendering of the original Children's Museum design provided by Thompson Thrift showing the north face of the renovated Tribune Building (right) as the Candlewood Suites hotel, well as the new six-story tower containing the Terre Haute Children's Museum and more hotel suites. The new building will now be 4 stories.

Within $200,000 of construction/exhibit costs, yet still $1 million from its $4.8 million goal, the Terre Haute Children’s Museum will break ground on Dec. 5 on its three-story building.

The museum paid about $400,000 for land and services from Dora Brothers Hospitality Corp., which is building the Candlewood Suites extended-stay hotel, west of the museum.

Transfer of property includes architectural and engineering design for the museum shell; utility connections to the museum’s building line; construction and use of two interior emergency stair towers; construction of the parking lot; perpetual maintenance for the parking lot; and the cost of half the roof for the museum building.

The museum will own the property on the corner of Eighth Street and Wabash Avenue and give a vertical easement for a portion of the Candlewood Suites, which Dora Brothers is building in the rehabilitated former Tribune Building and will be extended over the top of the museum.

The museum has raised about $3.6 million of its $4.8 million goal, said Steve Schrohe, marketing coordinator for the museum’s board of directors.

“That $4.8 million includes a $1 million endowment, so we are a couple hundred thousand short on paying for all construction and exhibits. However, we have got some pledges in and that will be updated on Dec. 5,” Schrohe said.

In addition, the museum will unveil a “grassroots fundraising effort that we think is going to be a big hit,” Schrohe said. “It is a way that the average person can participate in a very fun way to help us get the museum built.”

That funding effort will be announced Dec. 5, he said.

The museum’s shell will be constructed by Thompson Thrift Inc. of Terre Haute.

“We are in the situation where some of what we have been able to do has been dictated by the pace at which Dora Brothers could go, plus we wanted to know that we are very comfortable with our monetary position toward getting this built and getting exhibits in there,” Schrohe said.

“The public has responded very well and we are not done yet, but we have come a long way and between pledges and cash in hand, there is no reason why we can’t start building the facility,” he said.

Schrohe said the museum expects the majority of its exhibits will be rotated “to keep it fresh. We have done a lot of work to get into good relationships with other museums that have an interest in moving things around and other resources. We are well aware that you don’t want something that just sits there for years.

“That is why it is important that we finish out this fundraising effort” that includes a $1 million endowment to operate the museum, Schrohe said.

“We don’t want to put any future boards in any bind in their ability to keep things fresh and operating smoothly. That is why we still need that other $1 million to $1.2 million,” he said.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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