“Curiosity Shop” Project Delayed

Coming renovations in the children’s area at the Smoky Hill Museum will cost a little more than originally anticipated. Museum Director Susan Hawksworth and Museum Curator of Exhibits Josh Morris appeared on KSAL’s Morning News Tuesday, and offered an update on the project.

When finished, “The Curiosity Shop” will boast over 20 interactive activities that will be spread across five distinct spaces.

The original price tag was projected at $421,000. Hawksworth said, though, that bids have come in a little higher than expected. The new projected price is $472,980. About 80 percent of the funding has been raised. “We need a lot of help to get that last 20 percent,” Hawksworth added.

Morris says that “The Curiosity Shop” will be an always evolving project that will offer many different experiences.

One such experience is a Kansas Weather Room that will bring the sound and feel of a tornado to visitors.

“You’ll hear actual KSAL footage of them tracking storms and as that reaches its’ zenith then the lights go out and it will be a theatrical experience of going through a tornado in a basement,” Morris said.

The hands-on interactive areas include; “The World of Radio,” a place to connect with present-day audio files in 1930’s era studio, “Town Building,” students will have RC tools and vehicles to build Salina’s Post Office from 1938, “Kansas Weather,” a place to find a tornado tube and lighting balls, “The Dirty 30’s” clubhouse will have items and replicas from that time to surround visitors, “Tot Area,” anchored by a 4 by 8-foot Light Bright board to play with.

Construction of the project was scheduled to begin this month. Instead, it will begin in February.