Rye, N.Y. (PRWEB) July 24, 2013 -- After years of planning and working in close partnership with county government, the Westchester Children’s Museum (WCM) today took part in an official lease signing ceremony in front of the North Bathhouse at Rye Playland. County Executive Robert Astorino signed the lease, which followed unanimous approval from the Westchester County Board of Legislators and the Board of Acquisition & Contract.
With the key to the Rye Playland North Bathhouse in hand, the county’s renovation work now complete and a new operator, Sustainable Playland, selected to take over the management of the park, WCM is ready to assume control of the property and begin transforming the space into a world-class children’s museum.
“This museum will be an economic driver for the county and an anchor for the redevelopment of Playland Park. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the county in bringing a vibrant children’s museum to this great location,” said Corinne Zola, President of the WCM Board of Directors.
WCM is ramping up its fundraising campaign – with a goal of raising $10 million for building infrastructure, a performance theater, and exhibit fabrication and installation – by reaching out to the community, area businesses, and other partners with a broad range of funding opportunities, many of which include naming rights. Funds raised to date have been used to develop architectural plans, construction documents, and exhibit designs; launch an educational outreach program; and for staffing. Bids were recently solicited from general contractors. Under the terms of the lease, the museum must open its doors no later than August of 2015. In the meantime, WCM will continue its highly successful Museum Without Walls program, as well as begin offering programs on the boardwalk at Rye Playland this summer.
“Through our new public-private partnership with Sustainable Playland and the Westchester Children’s Museum, we are reinventing Playland with a vision that builds on tradition by keeping what we love, such as Kiddyland and the historic rides, replaces tax dollars with private capital and adds new attractions and experiences for visitors to enjoy on a year round basis. This is a winning formula for saving Playland today and for future generations.”
“With a 24-month window to open the museum, our community ambassadors will be hard at work raising the dollars we need to begin and complete construction,” said Tracy Kay, WCM Executive Director. “We look forward to working collaboratively with our partners in this exciting project that will benefit our county, our neighbors, and our children.”
For more information, please call (914) 421-5050 or visit http://www.discoverWCM.org.
About Westchester Children’s Museum
Westchester Children’s Museum (WCM) will be a learning laboratory providing children, families, and school groups throughout Westchester County and the surrounding region with the opportunity to nurture curiosity, enhance knowledge, and ignite imagination through hands-on exploration. WCM is committed to broadening knowledge of the arts, the environment, multiculturalism, and the local and global communities in an educational and recreational atmosphere. Until its physical home is completed in 2015, WCM is dedicated to fulfilling its educational mission through its Museum Without Walls program, which has brought hands-on educational programs to more than 8,000 children since launching in March 2010. For more information or to get involved, please visit http://www.discoverWCM.org.
Mindy Hermann, Co-Communications, Inc., 914.666.0066, [email protected]