Rain delays might have slowed its construction in 2016, but the much-anticipated Knock Knock Children’s Museum is expected to open doors on schedule in City Park sometime this summer.
As Business Report details in a feature from the current issue, the museum, quietly underway since 2010, is the brainchild of a handful of community volunteers and education experts whose intent was to build a ground-up, best-in-class children’s museum catering to kids ages birth to 8.
The museum’s board of directors has raised $12 million thus far, Peter Olson, the museum’s executive director, tells Business Report.
Olson, who has been director since mid-October, left a 10-year stint at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato, a similar ground-up project. Olson says he and the Knock Knock board, along with a forthcoming development director, plan to raise another $2 million before the museum opens.
Sitting on BREC-owned bluff overlooking City Park, the museum is visible from Interstate 10 at Dalrymple Drive. It will have an annual budget of $2 million, 70% of which will support a 45-person staff. Olson says 14 of those positions will be full-time.
The museum’s exhibits are organized in 18 themed interactive learning zones. The exhibits push early literacy, the arts, and science, technology, engineering and math learning through themes that highlight both city and natural elements. Cambridge Seven Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, designed the exhibits. Nashville-based 1220 Exhibits is currently building them.