The KidsQuest Children’s Museum received more than $4-million worth of good news over the past week, all of which goes toward construction of its new facility in downtown Bellevue.
The passing of the state’s 2015-17 biennium budget provided KidsQuest with $2 million through the Building for the Arts capital grant program, tying with the Nordic Heritage Museum Foundation for largest donation.
Bellevue councilmembers matched that on Monday with their approval of another $2 million donation to KidsQuest, which is raising funds to convert the former Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art into its new children’s museum site downtown.
The museum is now at $8.4 million of its $12.8 million fundraising goal, or 66 percent. KidsQuest will launch a community campaign in October.
“We knew we were in the Senate budget and the state House budget,” said Shelley Saunders, KidsQuest’s director of advancement, “but you never know until the capital budget passes and you’re in it.”
The city council also voted Monday to vacate 492 square feet of right-of-way property adjacent to the children’s museum site on Northeast 12th Street for an outdoor exhibit space.
“That’s one of those things that we’ve really missed in this space in Factoria,” Saunders said, “is that we don’t have an outdoor space.”
The Chickadee Trail will be a planted path with access to the public and museum goers alike, Saunders said, offering learning opportunities surrounding gardening and water.
“A lovely place just for anybody to walk through,” she said. “You don’t have to be a museum visitor to enjoy it.”