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Plans for children's museum moving forward at Canalside

Erie Canal Harbor Corporation approves Explore & More for Canalside
WBFO News photo Mark Leitner
Erie Canal Harbor Corporation approves Explore & More for Canalside

East Aurora-based Explore & More Children's Museum has been given the go-ahead to start studies on developing a children's experience at Canalside.  The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation's Board of Directors gave its unanimous approval to the 25,000 square-foot project today. 

Explore & More Director Barbara Park Leggett says her organization already has plans for the site and has submitted a preliminary plan to the board that includes exhibits and programs.

Plans call for indoor and outdoor exhibits including features called Windows on WNY, Building Curiosity, The World Around Buffalo, Building Curiosity:  Inside Architecture, Local Foods, Let’s Get Physical, and Make It Go!, among others. 

"Our vision is a centerpiece exhibit [with] hands-on learning about the Erie Canal and we see exhibits with local twists: a farm-to-table food movement, local building and construction, and an exhibit called Buffalo Around the World and In Our Neighborhoods," Leggett said.

Leggett says a Canalside site would open in 2016. She projects a yearly attendance of 130,000 at the waterfront site.

The organization says it will first be entering master planning, and then finalizing exhibit concepts and shaping the new museum.  Organizers say they welcome community involvement in the planning phase.

Since its founding in 1994, Explore & More has been serving 50,000 Western New York families annually at its Gleed Street location.


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