Above & Beyond Children’s Museum in Sheboygan will reopen on March 7 after a two-month closure due to extreme water and ice damage.
The museum continues fundraising activities with the hope of raising another $20,000 to reach the original $100,000 goal. In addition, volunteer support continues to be desperately needed for moving furniture, exhibits and supplies as the building and spaces are fully repaired and prepared for the reopening.
The final stage of reopening plans include deep cleaning the three visitor-facing floors, painting, basement renovation and equipment improvements.
A grand reopening celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 12. A celebratory balloon drop, previously planned for the postponed Noon Year’s Eve event, and other special activities and crafts are planned. Colorful T-shirts will be available for purchase with a corresponding craft station for decorating the limited-edition apparel. Admission is $8, free for members. Additional donations will be accepted.
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“Knowing we were unable to serve families and children through a safe, clean, indoor space that is so beloved has been the most difficult part of all of this, especially in the wintertime,” museum Executive Director Jackie Erdman said. “One of the biggest silver linings is that we have been able to assess the museum top to bottom to make our space as efficient and safe as possible moving forward.”
Museum visitors can expect to see their favorite exhibits and a few new highlights:
- New pieces installed in the Calming Corner
- Introduction of sensory seekers backpacks – special kits for neurodiverse children and individuals
- New paint for the Glow Room
- Updated public restrooms with new fixtures donated by Kohler Co.
- Additional safety features, including higher spiral staircase railings and slip-resistant spiral stair covers
- Wall décor along the back stairwell consisting of hand-painted tiles created by the community
The museum closed indefinitely on Dec. 25 due to damage from bursting water pipes and sprinkler system valves. All four floors of the museum were affected, resulting in $150,000 in damage. Despite insurance covering the cost of repairs, the museum continues to seek donations to recover lost revenue from admissions during the closure.
Financial support and donations have poured in from residents, businesses and through special events. Fundraising highlights include two matching donations of $25,000 each from an anonymous donor and the Efroymson Family Fund. Local brewery 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. hosted an event that drew more than 2,000 attendees while raising $11,000.
“Above & Beyond Children’s Museum is a huge part of our community and we are trying to do our part to get them back up and running,” 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. founder and head brewmaster Grant Pauly said. “My family have been members for years and we know firsthand how important the space is to the children and families of our community.”
Donations for the museum can be made online. The museum also accepts checks by mail to Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, 902 N. 8th Street, Sheboygan, WI 53081.
“We wish to extend deep gratitude to the community partners, organizations, businesses and volunteers who have offered their support and assistance as the team navigates this situation,” Erdman said.