Children’s Museum is growing up

The Children’s Museum of Richmond is expanding.

On Monday the museum unveiled a rendering of its new outpost at Short Pump, which is scheduled to open in June.

The organization leased 15,500 square feet of space at 2200 Old Brick Road in West Broad Village, across from Whole Foods Market. The space had been built out for Books-A-Million, which reversed its decision to open a store in the new mixed-use development last year.

Karen Coltrane, CEO at the museum, was on site Monday along with other staff and said the she looked at locations all over the region.

“We looked all over at where people congregate and did some market research. There are a lot of people who say they love the Children’s Museum, but that it’s just not convenient enough,” Coltrane said.

She said that about one-third of all museum members live in the West End and that the museum has been looking for ways to reach a greater percentage of the Short Pump area population.

“We figured the most cost-effective way to reach West-Enders was to come to them,” Coltrane said.

Museum staff members also hope to attract residents of Chesterfield County because of the new location’s close proximity to Route 288.

Coltrane said the decision to add another branch is partially a creative funding initiative.

“We are an institution dedicated to fostering creativity, so it made sense that we use the innovative thinking of our board, staff and volunteers to devise our own creative solution for the museum’s business challenges. We believe a branching model allows the organization to have much more impact throughout our community by generating more resources for our core mission.”

Henrico County Manager Virgil Hazelett describes the new location as a welcome addition to the area.

“We are delighted to have such a highly regarded nonprofit organization whose mission is dedicated to early childhood education come into Henrico County,” Hazelett said. “We see the addition of the services provided by the Children’s Museum of Richmond as a great asset to our county.”

The new location will be known as the Children’s Museum of Richmond-Short Pump, while the original location will be called Richmond-Central.

The downtown location will continue to operate as normal with all exhibits, camps and other programs.

The West Broad Village location will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and members will have access to both locations at no additional charge. The non-member rate will remain unchanged at $8 for either location.

Trevor Dickerson runs DowntownShortpump.com, which is an RBS News partner.

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Bob Scudder
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The Children’s Museum is truly a gift to the City of Richmond. My wife and I have frequented it with our grandchildren since my moving here five years ago. It is a place of unique exploration for the little ones. It is a hands on experience and one that leads to lots and lots of questions as well as a sense of accomplishment for them. I certainly understand the objective of making the museum easily accessable to all but the “Central” Children’s Museum is easily accessable from all parts of the Greater Richmond Area. Richmond is a beautiful city with… Read more »

Karen Coltrane
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Karen Coltrane

I appreciate Mr. Scudder’s note and the fact that he and Mrs. Scudder frequently take their grandchildren to the Children’s Museum. I hope they will continue to come to our main campus on Broad Street as we continue to improve and upgrade our facilities for the benefit of our community’s children. I also appreciate their love of the museum, an affection shared by all of us responsible for its success. I can personally assure Mr. Scudder and others that the museum’s Board of Trustees carefully considered the organization’s role in the community when making the decision to open a facility… Read more »