Local News

Museums Merge for Space, Money Reasons

Posted July 28, 2007
Updated September 29, 2007

— One Raleigh museum struggles with attendance while another struggles with space. Together, they will form a new children's museum.

Exploris and Playspace Children Museum now share staff and a budget. In two months, they will be under the same roof with a new name.

With 80,000 visitors a year, Playspace needs more space.

“Our fire code is 300 people, and on certain days I actually have to close the floor,” said Patty Wilson, facilities director.

Exploris Museum has plenty of space, with 83,000 square feet. But its global education focus aimed at middle school children isn’t bringing in the crowds.

“It wasn’t a message or marker that was broad enough to really sustain a museum of this size,” said Sally Edwards, president of the new museum.

To sustain both museums, they merged to become one.

“Legally, administratively, we have merged. We’re one organization with one budget,” Edwards said.

The merger resolved Exploris’ $5 million debt, she said. After Labor Day, Playspace will move into Exploris with a focus on making static exhibits more interactive.

Sonya Murphy has five children from 9 months to 12 years old.

“If I can find a facility that caters to all of them, that would be great,” said Sonya Murphy, who has five children ranging in age from 9 months old to 12 years old

The new museum hopes to be that facility and bring in 200,000 visitors in its first year. That would double Exploris' yearly attendance.

The new museum will open and unveil its name on Sept. 29. Ticket prices will remain $5.


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  • Zel Ilano Nov 3, 2015
    user avatar

    Interesting blog post . Just to add my thoughts , if people is wanting to merge two images , my company discovered a tool here http://www.altomerge.com/ and also here http://pdf.ac/8cCSBR

  • NC is my home Jul 30, 2007

    The real museums (history, art, historic sites, etc.) need the money more than these baby-sitting places. Let's cut the funds to the junk programs and start really supporting those things that really matter to our culture!

  • Fun Jul 30, 2007

    Exploris is another government boon-doogle at the taxpayers expense. Also let's make these "pedestrian" bridges over the beltline our first "toll roads"...they should have never been built....at taxpayer expense.

  • YippieKayYayMF Jul 30, 2007

    So who thinks that Sonya Murphy has five children from 9 months to 12 years old? How many times does that need to be printed in the article? I think one would suffice.

  • colliedave Jul 29, 2007

    ,,,weaning Exploris off the taxpayer dime.

    None should have been on the taxpayer dime to begin with, and isn't there a private movie place that shows movies in IMAX format? Why should the taxpayers pay for something that should be privately financed?

  • choirgirl Jul 29, 2007

    I agree with Joefly1964, if they want a success they need to model it after Durham's NC Museum of Life and Science. It is opened from 10-5 or something like that and it takes every hour to get through all those exhibits because the kids are having such a good time. Even my teenager, although he would NEVER admit it, enjoys himself with some of the hands on science exhibits.

    The Exploris, on the other hand, was terrible when we went a couple of years ago and cost way more than what was offered. I parked at the History and Science Museums and walked there with a stroller. I was scared by the time I got past the bus stop and the park. I couldn't believe the change in scenery in just 3 blocks!

  • ifcdirector Jul 29, 2007

    Let the elitist liberals who forced this down taxpayer's throats pay for this money pit. From condemning and forcing the closure of a tax paying business to build this monstrous waste of space to the one worlder socialist garbage they teach in there it's nothing but a monument to the absolute worst that liberal leftists have to offer and to take from others to realize their twisted visions. Remember. They know best for you and they will make you pay for it too. Keep voting for these liberals Raleigh. You will deserve every penny you pay out in misery.

  • YeahWhatever Jul 29, 2007

    Ummmm: All you "wasting taxpayers money", "give it to a private company" blah blah blah. DO REALIZE that is what Playspace is? The original concept of this merger being to leverage Playspaces name and finances to begin weaning Exploris off the taxpayer dime.

    The combination of Playspace and IMAX should be a big winner all the way around.

    Oh, and as to Super WalMart...eh, that isn't downtowns demographic so I don't think they are worried about that. Family Dollar on the other hand :P

  • turkeydance Jul 29, 2007

    Exploris/light+time tower....blah blah.
    it's ancient history now. Next Time Something like this
    is proposed...tell the Raleigh City Council NO!

  • educgrad Jul 29, 2007

    I often to my child to Playspace until he was too old.He has been to Exploris and was bored.We had our 4th and 5th graders go to Exploris on a field trip and they were very bored except for 2 exhibits.I had already thought Exploris was a HUGE waste of money