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Kidzu Children's Museum rises above construction delay

Photo: Kidzu Children's Museum rises above construction delay (Lauren A. Vied)

Kaitlyn Montgomery, from Durham, papier-maches the Kidzu frog. Kidzu is planning to open a new location for their educational play place.

Chapel Hill kids have a new place to play outside, and it’s on the roof.

A delay in the construction of Kidzu Children’s Museum’s new location has left the educational play place without a venue. But to fix that, the museum today will launch Plazapalooza, a free program atop Wallace Parking Deck Plaza.

The parking deck, located at a corner of East Rosemary Street and Henderson Street, will host the program on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays throughout September.

Relocating delayed

“We were hoping we’d be open by now so the community would have things to do,” Clossick said.

Kidzu will permanently relocate to the Wallace Plaza, hopefully by 2015, she said.

The Wallace Plaza location will offer seven times more space than the Franklin Street spot.

Kidzu Board Chairman Dennis Schaecher said University Square construction should be completed in a matter of weeks.

Board member Joel Levy said the building was slowed by the stringent codes the museum had to adhere to as a children-centric business.

Temporary Fun

Clossick said the museum has held outdoor events in conjunction with the Carrboro Farmers’ Market and Festifall, but never on a weekly basis like Plazapalooza.

At Plazapalooza, kids will take part in storytelling, games and arts and crafts, according to Kidzu’s website.

Schaecher said Plazapalooza’s outdoor location matches the museum’s philosophy.

“We are very focused on hands-on learning, ” he said.
Clossick said the rooftop location is advantageous because it’s a free public space.

But she said bad weather is a concern — tornado warnings Tuesday cancelled first day plans.

Parent Laura Burke of Raleigh, who visited Kidzu in its old location, said she would consider taking her son, Gabriel Stranksy, to play at the parking deck.

“My son would love it because kids don’t feel the heat,” Burke said. “In a few weeks when it’s cooler, I would go with him, and it would be grand.”

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