Museum plans expansion; raising funds |

Museum plans expansion; raising funds

Teri Vance
Sandi Hoover/Nevada AppealJim Peckham, director of the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada, is leading an effort to build a play area along the north side of the building. He hopes to work with the city as part of its downtown redevelopment efforts.

The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada is looking at ways to expand in the coming years and is starting to raise money for those projects.

“With our school system being forced to reduce science and social study programs, and with the freeway bypass requiring Carson City to re-create itself or lose tourist revenue, we at (the children’s museum) believe our role in the community is ever increasing,” said Director Jim Peckham.

To meet the increasing need, he said, the museum is continuing plans to add a third floor to the museum as well as add a unique outdoor playground, complete with a water play area.

The additional floor, Peckham said, would be dedicated to expanding hands-on science exhibits for older children. Visitors would be able to safely participate in dissecting owl pellets and cow eyes, perform electricity, robotics, and physics experiments, and work with prisms and lasers.

Museum docents will lead these science projects to enhance the learning and to ensure safety.

The addition would cost about $300,000 and could be paid for through grants and other fundraisers, Peckham said.

The outdoor play area, which would be built on the north side of the building along Ann Street, will be more difficult to plan.

“Because we are in a city-

owned building and it impacts

city streets, we’re trying to coordinate our efforts with any downtown redevelopment efforts,” Peckham said. “If the city is moving forward, we might be able to leverage off some of the things we’re doing to reduce our costs.”

It would be more than a playground, continuing on the museum’s theme of blending education with entertainment, or “edutainment” as Peckham says.

“It’s going to make the museum more of a destination,” he said. “As people drive by, they will see something new and creative. I think it will be a big draw for families.”

The playground is expected to be under way within the next three to five years.

Kicking off fundraising, the museum will present “Murder on the Princess Royal,” a mystery dinner that will include a meal and a murder that the audience is encouraged to solve.

There will be silent and live auction items and many surprises. Participants can have their cruise ship picture taken with Captain (and Mayor) Bob Crowell, and enjoy all the luxuries of sailing on a 1920s-era cruise ship – all within the museum.

The event is Oct. 2 with cocktails starting at 5 p.m. Admission is $35 per person, $40 for seating with the captain, and $250 for a table of eight.

Participants are welcome to show up in 1920s apparel and help solve the whodunnit.