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Wonderfeet museum to open in February

Robots are about to take over downtown Rutland.

The Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum announced Thursday it would open next month in its new location in the Tuttle Building on Center Street. The group plans a grand opening in the spring, but the actual opening will be 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 8.

After that, the museum will be open Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission will be $5 for people ages 1 to 64, $4 for seniors 65 and older, $2 for anyone with a valid EBT card and identification and free for children less than a year old.

Memberships to the museum will be available as well.

The building totals 3,000 square feet and will feature a number of interactive exhibits and a play space for children and toddlers.

The organization is nearing completion in a $100,000 fundraising drive. Organizer Paul Gallo said they have a number of sponsors making one- and two-year commitments.

“We’re just about there,” he said. “I’d say we’re in the $90,000 range right now. … We’re looking to cover 18 months rent and labor costs for executive director and such, give the organization a foundation to build on and get up and running.”

A number of donors are also contributing exhibits, which include a robotics area sponsored by GE and Lego play tables. The city has pledged $75,000 from the Zamias fund, which was created from impact fees paid by Diamond Run Mall. How, exactly, that would be used had not been announced as of Thursday.

The idea for a children’s museum emerged from the Rutland Creative Economy group. It started in 2011, running during the farmers market and Friday Night Live, growing a bit each year.

Michael Coppinger, executive director of the Downtown Rutland Partnership, said he was impressed with how quickly the museum has progressed and that he expects it will be a “destination location.”

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January 31,2015 | Rutland Herald | Wonderfeet museum to open in February | By Gordon Dritschilo

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