The board of directors behind the project to create the city’s first Kids Discovery Station, or children’s exploratorium, presented their first founding partner, Webcor Building Inc, with certificates of appreciation this week.
“Webcor has done an amazing job at helping us open this museum,” said Mayya Tokman, the museum’s founder and president of the Board of Directors. “They remodeled the whole space completely for free for us, and have been unbelievable partners in this enterprise.”
The location of the Discovery Station is at 350 W. Yosemite Ave, across from Merced College. The building, which was leased to the board for a dollar a year by the Merced County Office of Education, is being restored and built on a volunteer basis by Webcor, the same company that completed the 2020 project at UC Merced.
As more rooms are being completed, and walls are prepping for painting, the board is now working with designers and local artists to bring the magic of discovery to life.
The Discovery Station is geared for 0-12-year-old children. It was set to open this past May, but due to virus restrictions, the opening had to be put on hold for a later time.
“For many years, Merced County residents have said, ‘We need more to do,’ ‘We need more for our families,’ ‘We need fun and affordable activities’,” said County Supervisor Lee Lor who represents the Merced area and has advocated for a children’s museum. “I’m doing this for our future generations. We always talk about young people being our future, and yet we don’t provide them with the opportunities to help build that future.”
Once completed, Lor explained, the Discovery Station would include various exhibit sections that will stimulate and build curiosity through topography, space stimulation, and engineering
Board members hope to have the station up and running by December for limited social-distanced events, and will open to the public soon after, as soon as Heath Department officials allow them to do so.
They are still looking for sponsors and taking donations to fully fund the continuation of the Discovery Station, a project that has been in high-demand for Merced County residents.
“We would really appreciate it if people could like our page on Facebook — or donate,” Tokman said. “If they can’t donate, come in and volunteer to help us move forward.”
Tokman thanked the Merced County Office of Education, First Five Merced, The Community Foundation of Merced, Golden Valley Health Centers, Merced LionsClub, High Speed Rail Authorities, and UC Merced for their continued support and sponsorship.
To learn more about the discovery station or to make a donation, you can visit their website at kidsdiscoverstation.org.