Children’s Museum moving to new location
BURLINGTON — The Children’s Museum of Skagit County announced Thursday that it is moving to a new location at The Outlet Shoppes at Burlington.
About a year ago, museum Executive Director Cate Anderson said the owners of the Cascade Mall advised the museum to begin searching for a new home.
It’s unclear why the Cascade Mall asked the museum to relocate. As of press time Thursday, a mall representative had not responded to a request for comment.
The museum’s direction is “still unsettled,” Anderson said as she stood outside the new location Thursday. “We knew we were not going to be in their plan.”
After 10 years at the Cascade Mall, the museum will take over three storefronts that previously housed G.H. Bass and Wilson’s Leather, according to an outlet spokesperson.
Renovation of the new space will begin shortly, according to a museum news release, and the new location will open in two phases.
The first phase, which will include several new exhibits, will open in the winter. The museum will open fully in early 2019.
The Museum Explorers Preschool will be open throughout the transition, Anderson said, and will begin operating out of the new location later this year. The preschool has operated in the museum’s current location for the past five years.
At 12,250 square feet, the new location will provide the museum some room to expand from its previous 11,000 square feet. The extra room will be used for additional exhibit space and a potential family resource area, Anderson said.
In the museum’s new home, Anderson said staff look forward to improving the museum’s layout and designing a space with more natural light than the previous location.
“Fifteen years into this we have better ideas for how the space needs to function and how it will work for our preschool family,” she said.
The museum has launched a campaign to fund the relocation and renovation of the new space. Donations can be made directly to the museum or at any Skagit Bank branch in the region, according to the release.
The museum is also fundraising with a series of public events later this month, including a hard hat lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 23, a family dance from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 24, and a family fun day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25.