Construction for new Explore & More Children's Museum to begin next month

Posted at 1:39 PM, Feb 14, 2017

The Erie Canal Harbor Development corporation (ECHDC) approved the architectural design of Explore & More Children's Museum Tuesday.

This was the final step before construction could begin for the museum on the South Aud Block of Canalside.

"The museum is an important component of our work to redevelop the South Aud Block and build on the amenities and attractions that are drawing millions of people to Canalside." said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia.

The Explore & More Children's Museum is a $13.29 million project and will include a 43,000 gross square feet core and shell building for the museum and exhibits.

The project was designed by Fontanese, Folts, Aurbrecht & Ersnt (FFAE). The Buffalo City Planning Board approved the designs based on the board's and ECHDC's Design Review Committee's recommendations.

The lower floors of the museum will have a cafe along the Canal Towpath and retail space on the ground floor along Lloyd Street. The ground floor will also have two entrances to the museum.

The second floor will have a two-story space along the canals and the third floor will have several exhibits and views of the Buffalo River.

The fourth floor will have a rooftop terrace overlooking the canals and the city skyline.

"We have been bowled over by the generous and widespread support we have received in just the first phase of this campaign, with many donors giving the largest gift they have ever given to a Buffalo area non-profit," said Explore & More's CEO Douglas Love. "We have no doubt that we will continue to see this groundswell of support when we open this up to the publics phase of the campaign."

Construction is expected to begin next month. LeChase Construction is overseeing construction management.