Landmark Jacksonville building to be new home for children’s museum

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A signing Friday morning marked the transfer of the landmark Boomtown Building to Zing Zumm® Children’s Museum of Jacksonville and will provide the new home for the effort.

Founders Liz Owens and Lani Beuerman first had the idea for the Zing Zumm Children’s Museum 12 years ago.

On Friday, the pair signed the paperwork to make that idea a reality.

The museum will be a space where children can learn with their hands.

“It’s all hands on things,” Liz Owens, co-founder, said. “The children will be able to touch and work with everything in there.”

The museum will be the first of its kind in the area and will serve residents and military families.

“Our Marines that are stationed here are often deployed and the wives need some place to take the children,” Owens said. “And on rainy days with the beaches close by, we feel like people from the beaches will come in also.”

It’s one of the many steps in the city to revitalize the downtown area by making sure that buildings aren’t left vacant as businesses come and go.

“We’re seeing new businesses come, and to have a children’s museum come to downtown will mean that a large segment of the Onslow County population and potentially larger will want to come to our community and that will bring them right downtown,” Dr. Richard Woodruff, city manager, said.

The city of Jacksonville said it had partnered with the museum for the temporary use of the former Fire Station #2 on Barn Street, but the Boomtown building offered fewer challenges use as a Children’s Museum.

The museum will have replicas of a grocery store and restaurant as well as music, art and science discovery areas.It willl also host after-school programs and summer camps.

The founders say they’re just excited to bring the dream to reality.

“It’s been a long process and we’re so excited that we are now going to be able to open,” Owens said.

More information about the museum and how you can donate can be found here.


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