NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) – Normal leaders are putting the start of the children’s museum of discovery future into action.
On Monday, the normal city council approved spending $ 55,000 on a 10-year plan for the museum.
The City of Normal contracts with JRA design, a Cincinnati-based company, to develop a plan for how the museum can improve over the next decade.
JRA Design and the city will be soliciting feedback from anyone who uses the museum – schools, daycares or even everyday members of the Children’s Discovery Museum. CDM Executive Director Beth Whisman said it was important to get public input.
“Ask them how they want to play and how they want to learn and bring in the experts to find the best way to do it,” said Whisman.
On Monday, city council voted to spend $ 45,000 to work with JRA Design to conduct the study. After that, they will work with museum staff on ways to keep the museum relevant.
“We’re looking at all of the next things we want to do over the next decade and that will give us the tool we need to raise funds and the tool we need to break down these different projects and bring them to fruition,” Whisman said.
Whisman said they plan to update the agricultural exhibit as well as its reception areas and gift shop to improve customer satisfaction.
“When you come to visit us you want to know that you are having a very good quality experience; but also if you are on a field trip, the teachers who come to your house rely on museums and experts to make sure that the curriculum the children learn when they come to visit is up to date, ”said Whisman.
With more than 2 million visitors in his 16 years, council member Kevin McCarthy calls him an asset to the city.
“They are truly a partner in education for learning opportunities, for creative play, for educational play,” said McCarthy.
He says the plan sets out a future vision for board members to see where the money goes in future projects.
“We know where this is going and what is the strategic vision of why and when we are going to invest there as well,” McCarthy said.
Work on the plan will begin in January to present a final master plan for the exhibitions in the spring