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Children's Discovery Museum closed until next year

By Carolina Astrain
Sept. 25, 2012 at 4:25 a.m.

The Children's Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent is temporarily closed through the first of the year until they can figure out if they will be staying in their current building owned by the Junior League of Victoria.

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A 6-year-old Cuero girl cried loudly as she learned her planned trip to the children's museum was not going to happen Tuesday.

The Children's Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent is closed until next year.

Ten years ago, the Junior League of Victoria agreed to house the museum free of charge in the Kriesle Building it owns next to the league's office on Main Street. But now the league wants them to either pay rent or buy the building, said LeOlive Rogge, former museum board member and founder.

Kayla Johnson and her family came from Cuero to use their brand new Children's Discovery Museum membership.

"We went to a birthday party here and this was our first time back," Linda Johnson said. "This was supposed to be a reward for them being good at the Sprint store."

The museum has been closed since the first of September, which is does annually, for cleaning.

But the sign on the door noted the closure will be longer now as museum board members determine what they will do.

"We feel very grateful for the time we've spent there," Rogge said. "We more than understand why they're doing this."

Rogge said the league offered to sell them the building for about $300,000.

Birthday parties, a Halloween fundraising event and the planning for two new exhibits are still on, said Rogge. They are also still booking parties.

In an emailed statement, league president Lynn Gisler wrote they've decided to sell the Kriesle Building and adjacent lot.

"This decision will allow us to meet our financial goals and stay true to our mission," Gisler wrote.

The museum has a six month lease.

Gisler said their goal is to find a potential buyer who will continue the current business arrangement or implement a transition plan with the museum.

Museum board member Wendy Crater had to break the news of the extended closure to the Johnson children, their mother and a niece.

"I don't want this to be negative," Crater said. "This museum is the most wonderful place for children."

Board members hope to finalize their plan by the end of the month. They have been in meetings with community members interested in their future.

"We're really kind of excited about it," Rogge said. "We're looking at all the options and we want to stay downtown."

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