Children's Museum of Denver

Developer: Children's Museum of Denver

Type of Development: Museum focused on STEM and early childhood education

Owner: Children's Museum of Denver - Seperate 501(c)3 QALICB

Cty and State: Denver, Co.

Contact Person: Monica Petersen (consultant with S.B. Clark Companies)

Phone: 303.895.9211

Contact Email: [email protected]

Allocation Amount Requested: $25,000,000

Brief Description of Development:

The Children s Museum of Denver is the most crowded Children s Museum in the nation and their proposed expansion is more than extra space, they have designed a powerful focus on:

Early childhood and STEM education, 

Exhibits focused on energy, natural resources and sustainability

A first-of-its-kind teaching kitchen and fresh foods garden; 

Expanded program space to grow their partnerships with Denver and Adams County School Districts; 

Sponsored Admissions for the low-income families in and around their community; and much more.
 
For over four decades, the Children s Museum of Denver has provided a growing annual number of more than 348,000 children, parents and educators with a safe, inspiring place to explore their creativity and curiosity while promoting healthy early childhood development.  This new world class museum on a 9-acre campus would be dedicated to dynamic, play-based educational experiences designed specifically for young children; a place where children examine cause and effect, take risks, ask questions, devise investigations, make and test predictions, and interpret and represent their world through play and creative expression.
 
Community Benefits
The Museum intentionally reaches out to underserved audiences in low-income communities.  For example, fiscal year 2013 included the following achievements:

Provided 16,670 admissions to children from low-income schools and childcare centers through the Sponsored Admissions and Membership Program.

Welcomed 2,661 children and 1,740 adults through the Denver Mayor s 5 By 5 Project for Head Start students, providing free admissions and free yearlong family memberships.

Completed the 10th year of the Museum s Growing Scientists, serving 22 classrooms in Denver and Adams County Title I schools.

Opened free on the first Tuesday of each month, welcoming 14,014 visitors, a total higher than any year since Target Corporation began sponsoring free evenings in February 2007.


An expanded Museum will also offer much-needed increases in:

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS: Age-tailored daily programming will cover broad subject matter   studio and performance art; the environment; physical and emotional health; literacy; science and math; and much more taught by skilled Museum educators and content specialists.

FAMILY/PARENTING WORKSHOPS: Interactive family classes and parenting workshops will serve to strengthen the bond between parents and children, provide ideas and tools to enhance learning at home, and prepare parents for their role as their child s first and most important teacher.
 
Readiness to Proceed
The Children s Museum of Denver has raised $13.6M toward their fundraising goal and is working with Chase Bank as the bridge lender and the investor.  The Museum will act as their own leverage lender in a Real-Estate Leasing NMTC structure, and the non-profit 501(c)(3) is being formed.  The contractor, Fransen Pittman, has broken ground and will keep the museum open throughout construction.  The Outdoor Experience will open in Sept. 2014 and the complete project is slated to open in August 2015.  The NMTCs will create opportunity for an expanded project, parking and greater community impact.
 
THE NEW Children s Museum of Denver Innovative Experiences 

ENERGY: Embark on a thrilling adventure to find, collect and transform fuel resources, resulting in the visible and tangible output of inspiring and amazing effects.  

WATER: H2O, in all its formless, evocative glory, is the catalyst for scientific discovery in this new space. This richly sensorial exhibit will support dynamic and sustained explorations and will encourage children to notice, question, test and think creatively about the properties of water. 

ALTITUDE: Children will scramble through this towering climbing experience, getting their heart rates up while exploring features of Colorado. Adventurers will visit a geode cave and a gondola, step through a cloud and explore other distinctive stops as they make their way to the mountain top, made of glass for 360° viewing.

FOOD: The powers of food will be realized in this new teaching kitchen in partnership with the local culinary arts institute. Children and parents will learn about the origin of the foods we eat, how to make healthy selections, and ways to create delicious, wholesome meals at home. 

ART: In this new, beautiful art studio, children will immerse themselves in the creative process using paint, clay and other media they can design and build their own sculptures with found materials and be inspired and taught by the talents of ever-changing artists-in-residence. 

THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Collaborating with Denver Parks & Recreation and highlighting the nearby South Platte River, the Museum will create 30,000 square feet of outdoor experiences, primed for exploration and adventure. 
 
Location
Severely Distressed Census Tract 08-031-0006.00                               
2121 Children s Museum Drive
Denver, CO  80211

But-For Statement:

But for NMTC, the Children s Museum of Denver would have to minimize their project and shrink the planned expansion on their existing programs focused on reaching underserved audiences and Title I schools.  The Museum will use NMTC to build expanded school and teaching program space and to enhance their provision of:

Sponsored Admissions and Membership Programs - Allows the Museum to offer free admissions and yearlong memberships to Denver's underserved children and their families.

Growing Scientists - A comprehensive science program in partnership with Denver Public Schools and Adams County Schools that includes teacher trainings, curriculum support, in-class educational programming, supplemental classroom supplies and field trips.

The 5 by 5 Project - Created by Denver Mayor's Office of Education and Children the program aims to give Denver Head Start and Early Head Start students and their families at least five cultural experiences by the time students turn 5 years old.

Free first Tuesday nights

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