On the corner of East Washington Street and South Lawrence Street in Rockingham, what used to be the old McKenzie Furniture building is beginning to look more like Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham.
A new facade has been given to the building, with a new glass front, metal structuring and green tiles on the side. There are also new circle-shaped windows on the side of the building.
“Construction is on schedule and we are continuing to make great progress on the upfit and renovation of the building,” said Discovery Place, Inc. staff.
Meanwhile, the museum’s website, http://rockingham.discoveryplacekids.org, has launched and is informing folks about a program that lets people get involved in Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham before it opens.
“The Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham website has launched, and we have begun the community phase of our fundraising with a hand tile campaign,” said Discovery Place, Inc. staff. “Hand tiles can be purchased online and offer members of the community a meaningful way to contribute to the project and to be an enduring part of the museum.”
According to the website, handprint tiles are available for $250 per set, and funds raised will support the museum’s services and programs. With each gift, you will receive two tiles to complete. One will be displayed in Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham and one will forever be yours.
9th of September, a store in Southern Pines, is helping make the tile project possible. The pottery store allows anyone to choose a piece of pottery, paint on and decorate it and have it fired. They host parties and keep flexible hours to accommodate events. The pottery store is contributing the tiles and paints and will fire the tiles after they are painted.
Eugenie Wing owns 9th of September. She said she feels honored to contribute to Discovery Place KIDS.
“I am absolutely thrilled,” said Wing. “It’s so great to get involved in the surrounding community. My husband worked in Rockingham for years so I am very loyal to the area and have lots of customers from that area.”
A few weeks ago, Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham received a donation of $1,000 from the Richmond Realtors Board.
“We are incredibly grateful for the unprecedented support we have received and continue to receive from community groups here who have an obvious vested interest in the educational future of their children,” said Discovery Place, Inc. staff. “Our new Museum director Katie Rohleder has been out in the community attending various events and meeting as many people as she can, and from the feedback she’s received it’s apparent that the Sandhills region is just as excited as we are to make Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham a permanent part of the community.”
You can see a current list of Leadership Donors on the website http://rockingham.discoveryplacekids.org/about/sponsors/ (note that this is not all the donors just the Leadership Donors).
The Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham campaign was initiated with a commitment of $6.6 million from the Cole Foundation and the Richmond Community Foundation, gifts that were facilitated by The Foundation For The Carolinas. Expected to open early next year, the museum will be an interactive learning-through-play experience designed to encourage early childhood skills, imagination and creativity.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.