West Hartford children's museum considers a move - WFSB 3 Connecticut

West Hartford children's museum considers a move

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Dozens attended a hearing about a potential move for the West Hartford Children's Museum Tuesday night. (WFSB photo) Dozens attended a hearing about a potential move for the West Hartford Children's Museum Tuesday night. (WFSB photo)
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

One of the oldest museums in the state and the country is looking for a more modern home.

Michael Werle, the executive director of the Children's Museum in West Hartford, said it's time for a major change.

The museum has been using the same facility since the 1950s and has been looking to upgrade for several years.

Werle said after the University of Connecticut announced the move of its West Hartford campus, he believes he saw the perfect spot.

Little Talia said the museum is almost like her own personal playground.

"She's literally there several times a week she comes home talking about the animals," said Elizabeth Benton, Talia's mother. "She knows their names."

Benton said when she heard there would be a public meeting on Tuesday night about a major development in the museum's future, she'd be there.

"I'm here tonight because i really want to make sure that the museum stays in West Hartford and remains an important part of the community," she said.

Werle said he has the same goal.

"It's a three story building with a glass atrium out front," he explained about the potential new building.

Werle plans to move the museum from its current location on Trout Brooke Road to UConn's soon-to-be-vacant West Hartford campus.

He said the proposed site would dramatically improve the museum's location and allow the facility to expand.

At Tuesday night's hearing, no one opposed the plan.

However, it's not a done deal. The town continues to negotiate to buy the land. It would have to agree that the museum fits the location.

Benton said she hopes it happens for her daughter's sake.

"She'd love it," Benton said.

UConn is moving out of West Hartford for a more modern facility in Hartford at the end of next school year. If everything goes smoothly, the new children's museum could open there by the end of 2017.

The museum would lease the land from West Hartford.

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