The Fox Cities Children’s Museum: Building for Kids Campaign to Build Children’s

For More Information:

Dorrie Hipschman, 920-407-8656

Appleton – The Fox Cities Children’s Museum, Appleton, WI is launching a $3 million capital campaign: “Building for Kids” to redesign and expand the museum.

The fund-raising effort will allow the 13-year old museum to purchase the space it occupies in the West City Center Plaza, and allow it to redesign and expand from its current second-floor location at 100 West College Avenue in Downtown Appleton into the first floor space just below its current home. The project will add 7,500 square feet to create a new museum of 30,000 square feet. The expansion will enable the museum to better fulfill its mission of “Building children’s imagination, creativity and confidence.”

“I am excited to launch the campaign today and to announce that we are already well underway,” said Executive Director Dorrie Hipschman. “The ‘Building For Kids’ Campaign has already received more than $500,000 from our early and generous supporters.”Early contributors include Appleton (formerly Appleton Papers), The Boldt Company, Kimberly-Clark, the Mielke Family Foundation, Plexus, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and pledges from all of the Fox Cities Children’s Museum board and staff.Governor Jim Doyle today also announced that Fox Cities Children’s Museum has been awarded a $750,000 loan guarantee from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). Associated Bank will be the lead lender in a consortium of six providing financing for the project. “Downtown Appleton is experiencing community redevelopment that’s a model for other cities,” Governor Doyle said. “Expansion of the Fox Cities Children’s Museum is another key in downtown Appleton’s continued growth. A strong downtown is vital to growing the entire area’s economy.”

The Campaign will provide funding for:
· The purchase of the museum facility
· Construction/renovation
· New exciting and educational exhibits
· Improvements to children’s favorite exhibits
· Increased visibility for the museum
· Better access for visitors
· A landmark and anchor for downtown Appleton

The “new” museum will include exciting new exhibits, programs and educational opportunities for the Fox Valley and preserve old favorites. Proposed new exhibits include a multi-story tree and fort, a jungle island, water play area, art/science studio, climbing wall and music gallery, among others. The design of both the facility and the museum are based upon three years of research conducted among children and parents.Construction will begin in late 2005, with anticipated completion in early 2006. The museum will remain open and fully operational throughout the construction phase.