Will Rochester be seeing a children's museum? - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Meghan Sparks

Will Rochester be seeing a children's museum?

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ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) -- The Minnesota Children's Museum in St. Paul saw more than 400,000 visitors this past year and now one local group hopes to bring a children's museum to Rochester.

Christina Stevens says, "We really believe this is something our community needs and something that our children need."

Christina Stevens serves on the Children's Museum of Rochester Board of Directors and believes a children's museum would benefit the entire community.

Stevens says, "It adds another component what Rochester can provide for family entertainment, family education but also increases our tourism as well."

One study showed that 80 percent of people surveyed in a 50 mile radius of Rochester would visit the museum and of that 95 percent would support and regularly attend.

Stevens says, "We know this is something the community wants and will support."

Stevens and other board members have visited museums across the country, including the Museum in St. Paul to see what has worked for others.

Melissa Brinkman says, "We want to have a lot of things that differentiate ourselves from the other museums especially in the area and some things that are unique to Rochester."

Another study will determine the potential site for the 30,000 square foot facility as well as the potential contributions from the community and say they hope to have the doors open to the public by 2010.

Board members hope to have a site picked out by early next year and will begin their capital campaign at that time as well.

The total estimated need for the project is between four and seven million dollars.

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