A crowd gathered Saturday morning outside Leonardo’s Children’s Museum in anticipation of celebrating the completion of a multi-million-dollar renovation and grand re-opening.
State and local dignitaries were present to congratulate all those who made the update to the museum possible, and two different proclamations declared Saturday Leonardo’s Children’s Museum Day.
Executive Director Julie Baird welcomed and thanked those gather at the museum’s doors, including many who serve on the museum’s board.
Baird read a proclamation from the office of Congressman Frank Lucas declaring April 30, 2016, as Leonardo’s Children’s Mueseum Day.
Caldwell read a proclamation from Gov. Mary Fallin also declaring it Leonardo’s Children’s Museum Day in the state of Oklahoma.
Gilbert said he was present on behalf of the mayor and the Enid City Commission. He, too, read a proclamation naming Saturday as Leonardo’s Children’s Mueseum Day.
“There were so many people that worked hard to make this project a reality,” Baird told the crowd before she introduced fundraising co-chairwoman Susan Bowers to speak. Bowers thanked everyone in attendance for Saturday’s grand re-opening.
“You all are the ones that did it. I appreciate it,” she said. “I just can’t say thank you enough.”
Lamb, who was an honorary co-chairman, told the group if they could get that job, to take it.
The lieutenant governor said as he was returning to his hometown for the ceremony, he was thinking about all of his memories of Enid growing up and with his kids growing up. He said he has probably climbed through every square inch in Adventure Quest, and possibly gotten stuck in a spire or two, while playing with his children. Lamb said Leonardo’s has been helping him, and countless others, make such memories.
“Memories yes, but also important, educational hands-on learning,” he said. “The families that will enjoy this museum and hands-on learning experiences are innumerable. Congratulations Enid, this is a big deal.”
With a red ribbon stretched across the stairs of the museum, Baird stood between Enid Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jon Blankenship and Lamb. Members of the Leonardo’s board of directors stood behind her as she cut the ribbon with a pair of golden scissors.
Some of the renovation highlights include new themes, such as energy, health and technology, to help children connect with the world around them, as well as industry icons that dominate the Oklahoma landscape, including oil derricks and pump jacks.
The Power Tower, a two-story climbing structure that demonstrates the importance of the oil and gas industry, is a featured exhibit where children can climb to the top and enjoy more in-depth energy-related activities and then slide back down to the first floor.
Other new exhibits include a toddler area, with a touch wall and interactives; a new animal habitat club house space featuring graphics and information on the critters; and a medical clinic sponsored by Integris Health and Integris Bass Baptist Health Center featuring a life-sized Operation game, X-rays and more.
Visitors also will enjoy the museum’s traveling exhibit space and re-imaged favorites, such as Silage Beach, The Marketplace, Nano Technology, Circular Scales and the Create a Masterpiece Area on the second floor.
Leonardo’s began its multi-million dollar fundraising effort in 2011 and construction began in August 2015. Renovations include changes to both the exterior and interior of the museum, as well as a new gathering space, store and ticketing area.
Story by: Enid News & Eagle