Wolf Administration Highlights $5 Million for expERIEnce Children’s Museum Expansion Project in Erie

Erie, PA – Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin was joined by Mayor Joe Schember and others to highlight $5 million in state support for an expansion of the expERIEnce Children’s Museum in downtown Erie.

“This museum has been a true anchor of downtown Erie for more than 25 years, planting the roots of STEAM education and creating life-long memories for children and their families,” said Sec. Davin. “Governor Tom Wolf’s support of expERIEnce Children’s Museum will continue to bring visitors and tourism dollars to Erie, while spurring more investments in the downtown district to make it an even more vibrant and dynamic place to live, work, and play.”

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funds will enable the expERIEnce Children’s Museum to expand with a three-story, 19,000-square-foot addition to be built in an adjacent vacant lot.

“At the City of Erie, we are very excited about the RACP just awarded to the expERIEnce Children’s Museum,” said Mayor Joe Schember. “We have believed in and supported this project for the past three years and look forward to experiencing the finished product! Thanks to Governor Wolf and to Secretary Davin and his staff for seeing the value in this project and believing in Erie.”

The museum will renovate 14,000 square feet of its existing 100-year-old building to improve its infrastructure and make it more accessible and energy efficient. A new outdoor area will also accommodate open-air programs.

“We are deeply honored to have received state funding and recognition of expERIEnce Children’s Museum’s role as a trusted community resource,” said Ainslie Brosig, executive director, expERIEnce Children’s Museum. “We are so grateful to the governor for this grant, which will enable us to expand our reach in providing a safe, family-centered educational experience that inspires creativity, exploration, and imagination through play, interactive exhibits, and innovative programming.”

Through this project, the expERIEnce Children’s Museum will also expand the accessibility of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) knowledge and experience to all area children and contribute to the revitalization of the Erie downtown.

An economic analysis conducted last year indicated the renovated museum could bring up to $10.4 million in economic output and support 171 total jobs annually.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Penny Ickes, DCED, dcedpress@pa.gov

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