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Dec 6, 2017

Public Input Expected for Next Phase of El Paso Children's Museum

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How the proposed new and big $19.3 million El Paso Children’s Museum will ultimately look is the subject of an extensive public input effort being encouraged by the City of El Paso.

The museum, one of the last of the big cultural institution projects to be funded by the $473 million Quality of Life bond passed by El Paso voters in 2012, is slated to go up on a downtown city block at 201 W. Main Street.

That site, the former home of a Greyhound bus maintenance facility, was purchased by the City of El Paso for $1.2 million. The Greyhound structure was subsequently demolished late last year.

Three design proposals for the museum have now been revealed, each emphasizing different themes and usage of space, but all suggesting a multi-floor building with lots of natural lighting.

Those designs also include science and technology themes, interactive exhibits, and art studios, as well as a café and retail space.

The designs have been presented by the Santa Monica-based Konig Eisenberg Architecture; Snohetta Architecture, which has offices in New York and Oslo, Norway; and TEN Arquitectos of both Mexico City and New York.

All three firms have extensive museum design experience.

Input from the public is being solicited by El Paso through the means of online voting via the website elpaso.gov.

Residents can also see renderings of the three proposals at the El Paso Museum of Art.

Voting is slated for December 5 to December 15. The three proposals will also be reviewed by a jury of peers.

A construction schedule for the museum could be announced sometime after the vote. Work is  expected to begin in early 2018, with a general completion date of late 2020.

How the museum will look and what its function will be has been the subject of some two dozen public meetings so far, with input from more than three hundred people.

 

By Garry Boulard

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