Montgomery children's museum construction on the horizon - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Montgomery children's museum construction on the horizon

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

You've probably seen the sign in downtown Montgomery for Quest-Plex. It's on the One Dexter Plaza building.

It's supposed to be the site of the new downtown library and children's museum.

But if you've noticed, nothing has happened there since the sign was hung a couple years ago.

We got to the bottom of it and found out there have been things going on behind the scenes.

"It has taken a long time but I think in the end that is going to be to our benefit," says Suzanne Davidson.

"We feel like we have an obligation to make this successful," adds Thomas McPherson.

Davidson, with the Children's Museum board and McPherson with the Montgomery City-County Library board spearhead the project.

For the past couple years the two worked side-by-side along with Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, figuring out how just how to merge the library and museum into one space.

"They had to go through a process of selecting architects that could come and transform the building into something that we could all be proud of to share," says Davidson.

In the meantime, though, One Dexter Plaza--which the City of Montgomery owns--was being used as a temporary city hall and office space.  It pushed construction back even further.

Most of those folks have since moved out.

"I'd like to see the project started, actual construction, sometimes at the latter part of next year," says Mayor Strange.

Leaders admit is has taken a while to get the ball rolling at QuestPlex, but they say they're closer than ever.  They hope to start raising money for the project around the first of the year.

"We do need to raise about $4-million dollars," says Strange.

Strange says in addition to private fundraising, grant money, tax credits, and a bond issue will fund the $24-million dollar project instead of money from the city's general fund.

Leaders plan to create a children's museum authority board to handle the daily business of the museum.

The board would be responsible for paying back the bond money.

WSFA 12 News is also opening a brand new downtown studio at One Dexter Plaza.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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