The Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham children’s museum in progress in Rockingham received its first exhibit piece on Tuesday.
As on-lookers lined East Washington Street across from the former McKenzie Furniture building, they watched a flatbed 18-wheeler bring an antique fire truck around the corner. With the help of Rockingham Police Department, traffic was redirected briefly while the antique fire truck was unloaded and rolled into the building.
The fire truck is a 1940s-era American LaFrance fire truck, owned by the City of Rockingham. When completed, the fire truck will be equipped with a ceiling-mounted camera and in-dash monitor and will allow little firefighters to observe their engine-driving and emergency management skills while playing the part of a community hero. The truck will be further modified on-site for safety prior to the museum’s public opening.
Discovery Place, Inc. President and CEO John Mackay was present and taking pictures.
“This is our first exhibit,” he said excitedly.
Other Discovery Place officials remarked at how well cooperation with the City of Rockingham has gone.
“We continue to work very closely with Discovery Place, Inc.,” said City Manager Monty Crump. “They continue to be a great partner. We are really enjoying having the first exhibit and look forward to what the facility will mean to the community.”
The Historical Society gathered on Harrington Square at the end of East Washington Street with its own antique fire truck and Rockingham Fire Department brought out a current fire truck.
The fire truck exhibit was pushed to the far back of the building, where it will remain, covered, as construction of exhibits inside the building continue. According to construction site personnel, the fire truck won’t be moving again apart from when flooring is placed down, but that will be minor shifting at the most.
Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham is an interactive children’s learning museum where children will be able to play and learn at the same time. The museum is scheduled to open early 2013.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.