Wonderscope gets $4 million boost to build in south KC

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Wonderscope receives $4M matching gift

By John Sharp

The $15 million capital campaign by Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City to raise funds for the construction of its new museum at Red Bridge Shopping Center got a huge boost with the recent commitment by the Regnier Family Foundation to match any future donations dollar for dollar up to $4 million.

Wonderscope plans to begin construction of its new museum facing Red Bridge Rd. at the northwest corner of the shopping center property in early 2019 following demolition of the closed La Petite Academy at the site.

As reported in this column earlier, museum officials hope the new 30,000-square-foot facility will be ready to open in late 2019 or early 2020, and they expect it to draw about 200,000 visitors during its first year of operation.

“The Regnier family has supported Wonderscope for over 25 years, and we are continually amazed and thankful for their leadership and generosity,” said Roxane Hill, Wonderscope executive director.

“The new Wonderscope will be more accessible to families from Kansas City and beyond as well as provide a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) based learning experience through play,” she said.

The new museum will replace Wonderscope’s current smaller facility in a repurposed elementary school in Shawnee, Kan., which lacks the ready highway access of the Red Bridge site.

Plans call for the new museum to have nine exhibit areas plus a half-acre for outdoor activities to entertain children as they learn through play.  It will include “creation stations” and both high and low tech activities for children with different learning styles.

Creative programming will help children acquire new educational skills, learn social skills and expand their intellectual potential through interactive educational play.  Exhibits and activities will be designed so children and adults can learn and play together.

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