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Looking to expand, Wise Wonders Children Museum has big plans for old Good Earth Market building in Billings

Posted at 2:19 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:47-04

BILLINGS- The Wise Wonders Children’s Museum in downtown Billings is moving into the old Good Earth Market building at 3024 Second Ave. N. in downtown Billings.

“We are excited,” said Executive Director of Wise Wonders Kelly Toohill said this week.

While Toohill said there is no exact date for the move, she anticipates it will likely happen by the end of summer 2019.

Good Earth Market and Co-op started the process of closing its doors to the Billings public in the fall of 2017. The location has sat vacant ever since.

In the meantime, Toohill said, Wise Wonders has been outgrowing its current space a few blocks away at 110 N. 29th St.

The former co-op location has much more space- 9,000 square feet on just the main floor- while the current museum space is 3,200 square feet.

“We have been growing out of our space for a while and have been pretty cramped,” said Toohill. “We have been looking at spaces for quite a while.”

According to Toohill, a board member purchased the building from the Gainan family and Wise Wonders intends to lease the space.

The move will likely happen in three phases.

Toohill said the first phase is moving into the new building with plans to grow inside it through phase two. Phase three would be using loft space in the building, said Toohill.

Their goal is to start to attract another age group to the museum and put more science-related exhibits inside.

“We want to reach a bigger demographic,” said Toohill.  “Where the kids are having fun and don’t even realize it.”

As far as their old building, Toohill said she’s not entirely sure what will happen to it. Wise Wonders does not own its current museum location on North 29th street.

“We are very excited and we are grateful and thankful for all of our past members and donors of our museums all along the way,” she said. “We are just going to continue working with the community trying to bring in amazing educational interactional exhibits.”