Explore and More's new children's museum is a step closer to reality. Ground was broken Wednesday morning on the site of its future home in Buffalo's Canalside.
Local leaders, many of whom are experienced in these kind of events, got some help from local youngsters to raise the ceremonial shovels on the plot of land where a four-story, 43,000-square-foot building will be erected.
The museum, which is expected to be completed and opened in late 2018, will feature numerous hands-on educational zones featuring Buffalo and Western New York themes.
"We know that children learn most effectively through play," said Douglas Love, CEO of Explore and More. "So we have designed the new Explore and More so that children and families will have an opportunity to learn about their region, about their city and about themselves, and discover their unlimited potential."
The new children's museum, according to officials, may draw more than 250,000 people every year when operating. Mayor Byron Brown called it the "perfect addition to the City of Buffalo's rich portfolio of cultural institutions," adding that it is being built in the right place at the right time.
"To locate here at Canalside will not only drive more families to the museum but to all of the wonderful amenities at Buffalo's Inner and Outer Harbor," Brown said.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was also among the speakers at the ceremony and said the museum will be a draw not only to families in the immediate Buffalo area but also to some from outside the region.
"Explore and More is such a great title," she said. "Explore and More, for (children) to use their hands and minds and spark that imagination that could lead them to be something else they may not have thought of."