Six years after it was first conceived, a children's museum in Denton appears to be moving forward. Just one week ago, it didn't appear that way.
Explorium will be located in a space at Stonehill Center, in north Denton. For over a year, the space has sat relatively empty, but in the past week construction on the children's museum's inside has been full steam ahead.
"It just hit me very clearly that I should start a children's museum here in Denton," said Anyah Martinez, a parent who launched the idea for an interactive, hands-on space.
Martinez said the museum will feature several different spaces for children to play and learn. Mothers with babies can nurse them in a private area, with one-way glass so they can watch other kids. There will be rotating exhibits.
"I think a lot of parents of my generation are of the mindset that they don't want their children to get hurt or experience failure," Martinez said. "But what that does is limits the amount of successes they can have."
Explorium was supposed to be open by now. One week ago, Martinez wondered if it would ever open. Rent and unexpected costs put the project in peril.
"A little concerned," said Melissa Haas, education coordinator for the museum. "But there's been an ongoing feeling of it's going to come through. It's going to happen."
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And then it did. Late last week an anonymous donor from the Houston area gave $75,000 to the museum project.
"Oh my gosh, it's crazy," Martinez said. "When you're scraping a few dollars here and there, doing $100 fundraisers, to get a check like that is overwhelming."
Martinez said another $25,000 dollars is still needed. They're raising it through various fundraisers, a membership drive -- and hopefully -- more donations.
"We've gotten some really good reaction," said Renit Lambert, who handles marketing and social media. "People are excited about an indoor space for their children, for themselves."
If all goes according to schedule, Denton's Explorium will open in late summer or early fall. A safe place to learn.
"We want to provide a place for children to explore and ask questions," Martinez said. And fail and try again and succeed and ultimately leave with a sense of, I've learned something new."