Breaking Ground for Bubble Exhibit at Gilbert House Children's Museum

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February 05, 2020
Gilbert House Children’s Museum invites the community to inaugurate a major next step for the museum through attending The Inventor’s Yard Groundbreaking Ceremony on Monday, February 17th, at 10:30 a.m.  Drafted in 2018, the museum’s plans to remodel the outdoor playground and build a separately-housed bubble exhibit are coming to fruition this spring after a year of intensive fundraising efforts.

Sponsorships secured from foundations and local business are funding this first stage of the build, along with the generous contributions of individual donors.  It is estimated that the build will take three months to complete, with the unveil of Bill’s Bubble Factory in time for the summer season.

“Our children remember visiting the Museum and falling in love with the Gilbert House—especially the bubble room, comments sponsor Dr. David C. Swiderski.  “We are proud to be a sponsor of The Inventor’s Yard… We feel that early learning concepts in physics and natural sciences can benefit children in countless ways.”  Through collaboration with Learning Landscapes, RedBox Workshop, and volunteers with expertise in their fields, staff at the museum have approached the build as an opportunity to diversify S.T.E.A.M. play in Gilbert House’s outdoor space.

“When we began working on the project, we felt it was important to incorporate design elements from the existing structures at Gilbert House,” comments Andrew Lethin of C&R Remodel, a sponsor and design contributor for one of the new structures to be built on the property.  The integrity of the museum’s historic houses required that all plans for construction pass the city’s historic review criteria.  “We specified the materials used, the pitch of the roof, and the color scheme to be a part of the overall environment,” Lethin adds.

In addition to visual criteria, accessibility improvements were a priority for the flow of the new space.  Front entrance ramps will be improved, and new play opportunities will be wheelchair accessible.  “Mobility is huge for children,” shares sponsor and CEO of Hope Orthopedics, Lorissa Addabbo.  “Learning for them includes being able to touch and see how things work.”  The new “put-yourself-in-a-bubble” element will allow for guests in wheelchairs to enjoy the same experience.

Celebration of the ceremonial groundbreaking will kick-off a day of free admission, the museum’s fourth annual Legacy of Play Day.  Families are invited to explore the exhibits and Outdoor Discovery Area with S.T.E.A.M. surprises between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  All exhibits will remain open during construction, with a temporary entrance relocated to Parrish House.

“The community support for this project is wonderful and greatly appreciated,” comments Karen Larson, Board Chair of the museum.  “It is a pleasure to partner with donors, sponsors, and our members to improve Gilbert House Children’s Museum for the next generation of children in our community.”

Sponsors of The Inventor’s Yard include: Mountain West Investment Corporation, Epping Family Fund, Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon Cultural Trust, The City of Salem, Hope Orthopedics of Oregon, Mid-Valley Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery, Dalke Construction Co. Inc., C&R Design Remodel, Salem Foundation, Autzen Foundation, Turf Hub, Sandy Melhorn, CPA P.C., Evergreen Charitable Trust, Pioneer Trust Bank, MSC Engineers, Inc., Green Acres Landscape, Inc., and Bill Charnholm.


 
Contact:
Samantha Bowdoin, Promotions Coordinator
(503) 371-3631