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Sunday , October 21 2018
Home | Tag Archives: el paso children’s museum

Tag Archives: el paso children’s museum

El Paso Children’s Museum Announces Snøhetta as Project Architect

Thursday afternoon, officials with the El Paso Children’s Museum announced that Snøhetta, an award-winning international architecture firm, has been selected to design the new children’s museum in downtown El Paso.

“We are thrilled to be working with Snøhetta, and their exciting concept was the unanimous choice of the public vote, our architectural panel and the board of directors of the El Paso Children’s Museum,” said Dr. Paul Kortenaar, Founding Director of the El Paso Children’s Museum.  “We recognize that the concept Snøhetta produced best embodied the innovation and cooperation that the El Paso Children’s Museum hopes to inspire.”

Last year, the museum and El Paso Community Foundation engaged in the architecture selection process which included community engagement meetings, presentations, and a public vote with three architects who competed for the project.

Via a news release officials shared, “The El Paso Children’s Museum will aim to welcome and engage children and families from El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, the American southwest, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora.”

The design will support the museum’s mission to celebrate the city’s multi-cultural community and create an enriching environment for collaboration, STEAM education cooperation, and critical thinking.

Photo courtesy Snøhetta

“We are thrilled to be the designers of the new children’s museum, to become part of the rich architectural legacy of downtown El Paso, and to contribute to its thriving future,” said Elaine Molinar, Partner and Managing Director of Snøhetta.  “As a native El Pasoan, the opportunity to create something of lasting impact for the city I grew up in is extremely rewarding.”

The El Paso Children’s Museum will be located at 201 West Main between the El Paso Museum of History and the El Paso Museum of Art within the Downtown Arts District, an area that attracts more than 1.5 million local, national, and international visitors per year.

The Arts District is home to the El Paso Museum of Art, the Museum of History, the only bilingual Holocaust museum in the country, artist lofts, award-winning performing arts venues, a MiLB ballpark, a convention center, public art, festivals, green spaces, and more.

In 2012, El Paso voters overwhelmingly approved a Quality of Life Bond program, which included a new children’s museum as one of its signature projects.

Since 2016, the El Paso Community Foundation has provided leadership on the public-private museum effort, including holding public forums, developing a master plan, hiring Founding Director Dr. Paul Kortenaar, and conducting the international architectural design competition.

In 2018, City Council approved additional funds to construct a world-class museum in response to private-sector stakeholders pledging to double their contribution to $20 million.  The total cost of the EPC Museum is approximately $60 million.

To manage this project, the City approved the creation of a Local Government Corporation.  City Council will serve as the board for the corporation and manage the construction of the museum.

The project is currently in development with construction expected to be completed in late 2021.

Children’s Museum Public Meetings Set for Next Week; Concept Online Voting Open

Residents will be able to learn more about the three competing conceptual designs for the new El Paso children’s museum in two free public meetings scheduled for next week.

The first will be from 6-7 p.m. Monday, December 11 in the El Paso Community Foundation Room, 333 North Oregon. The second will be from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 13 at the El Paso Museum of Art.

Founding Director Dr. Paul Kortenaar and staff will be on hand to explain the designs and answer questions.

The community can choose from three design concepts presented by  renowned architecture firms; Koning Eizenberg Architecture based in Santa Monica, California, Snohetta based in Oslo, Norway and New York City, and TEN Arquitectos based in Mexico City and New York City.

The design concepts will be on display in the lobby of the El Paso Museum of Art and residents will play a role in deciding the winning design. A public vote is going on now through midnight Friday, December 15.

Search Underway for El Paso Children’s Museum Director

A nationwide search is under way for the founding director of the new El Paso children’s museum.

The Board of Directors of the nonprofit EPC Museum is seeking a dynamic, energetic leader to build and operate a world-class destination designed to inspire the next generation to dream, act and contribute.

The new children’s museum was approved by voters in the 2012 Quality of Life bond election.

The El Paso Community Foundation is leading a public-private partnership to master plan the museum. It will be built on the former site of a Greyhound bus maintenance facility at Santa Fe and Main streets in downtown El Paso, just north of the El Paso Museum of Art.

The EPC Museum board has engaged the prestigious executive search firm of m/Oppenheim Associates of San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to conduct the search for the new museum’s first director.

Interested candidates should contact Lisa Grossman at (650) 323-3565, lisag@moppenheim.com,  Lee Kappleman, (202) 803-6674,leek@moppenheim.com

Children’s Museum to Host Three More Forums

Area residents will have three more opportunities to offer their ideas and suggestions for the planned El Paso children’s museum.

Three additional community forums are scheduled for area branches of the El Paso Public Library. The forum is part of a public outreach effort to ensure that the people who use the museum will have a say in it.

The forum will be hosted by EPC Museum, a new nonprofit created by a coalition of local leaders to run the $19.2 million children’s museum, which was approved by voters in the City of El Paso’s 2012 Quality of Life bond election.

  • Tuesday, March 28

Armijo Branch

620 E. 7th St.

5:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, April 5

Clardy Fox Branch

5515 Robert Alva

5:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, April 12

Sergio Troncoso Branch

9321 Alameda

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Gyroscope Inc., of Oakland, California, has been brought in to help create a master plan for EPC Museum, the nonprofit organization that will operate the children’s museum.

Gyroscope  is known around the world for its work with children’s and science museums. Its expertise includes strategic planning, learning environment design, interactive exhibition design, and architectural. Its client list includes The Thinkery in Austin, the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, the Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans and Papalote: Laboratorio Creativo in Mexico City.

The El Paso Community Foundation is leading the public-private effort to build the museum.

The children’s museum will be built on the former Greyhound Lines maintenance facility at 201 W. Main, next to the El Paso Museum of Art in the El Paso Arts District.

Demolition of Greyhound Facility Begins to Make Way for Children’s Museum

Work to begin construction on the Children’s Museum – a 2012 Signature Bond project – is underway with the start of demolition of the Greyhound Lines, Inc. maintenance facility of in downtown El Paso.

The facility is being demolished by Greyhound as part of a purchase agreement with the City of El Paso to make way for the Children’s Museum. City Council earlier this year approved purchasing the maintenance facility at 201 W. Main St. at a price of $1.27 million plus the cost of demolition of the existing building and remediation of the site including removal of the underground storage tanks.

Construction on the museum is expected to begin in 2018; the design phase for the project will begin in 2017.

“We are excited to continue to see the dramatic transformation of El Paso with the addition of a new Children’s Museum. We want to give our community a world-class facility that will become a community gathering place for children and families that will be enjoyed for generations to come,” Mayor Oscar Leeser said.

The land purchase will allow the museum to be located in the El Paso Downtown Arts District; strategically sited between the El Paso Museum of Art and the Museum of History.

A report by HKS Inc., a consulting firm hired by the City in 2013 to identify potential sites in the Downtown area for its three signature bond projects, recommended incorporating the Children’s Museum into downtown’s cultural and arts area.

The site selected for the Children’s Museum enhances the El Paso Downtown Arts District and complements the City’s cultural programming while serving as a key year-round tourism and economic development asset for our community.

“The fulfillment of this 2012 bond project will help us become a more vibrant place for learning and inspiring our youth. Through a new Children’s Museum we will create greater recreational, educational and cultural opportunities for El Paso that will provide our residents and visitors with experiences not afforded to them locally today,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said.

The agreement with Greyhound includes having Greyhound make a substantial “first contribution” and challenge grant to the Children’s Museum, which was underfunded when the bond program was sent to voters in 2012. Voters in 2012 approved $473.2 million bond projects.

The land purchase was approved along with a 10-year lease agreement with Greyhound for approximately 16,000 square feet of Sun Metro’s facility, at 700 San Francisco, at a cost of $114,409 per year for its maintenance operations.

Advancing the 2012 bond projects is part of the City’s strategic plan to enhance El Paso’s quality of life through the creation of innovative recreational, educational and cultural programs.