- Associated Press - Sunday, July 16, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - A children’s play area at a museum in southwestern Michigan has closed during renovations of a nearby interactive science gallery.

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s Children’s Landscape will be closed until at least September, MLive (https://bit.ly/2tkpzyE ) reported. The play area isn’t changing but had to be closed due to its proximity to the science gallery.

Museum director Bill McElhone said creating a pathway around the gallery would have taken up too much time. McElhone said the previous science gallery, Science in Motion, needed an update. It was installed in 2001.

“It just was getting old and dated, and quite frankly just getting worn out, which is a good thing because we’re a hands-on museum,” McElhone said. “You want things to get worn down, beaten and broken. That’s actually a good testimony that it’s actually been successful.”

The new installation has been in the works for the past four years. A committee of about 45 people decided to highlight the concept of innovation in the new exhibit, particularly new technologies that have come out of Kalamazoo.

“It’ll just continue to build on the sciences, sharing more about exploration of different sciences, but the focus will be on innovations,” McElhone said.

McElhone said the museum got the idea to include more interactive touch screens and video from academic journals and what the museum staff has observed from visitors.

The $1.8 million cost of the project came from the museum’s reserve fund for redevelopment.

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