LEHI -- Standing atop a large replica dynamite plunger, second-grader Marianne Liu, with the help of other VIP guests, pushed down the handle to set off fireworks signifying the groundbreaking of the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point on Monday.
Close to 150 guests, including Gov. Gary Herbert, Utah senators and representatives along with local mayors and other guests joined Alan and Karen Ashton to celebrate this newest addition to Thanksgiving Point.
With $23.4 million of the needed $27 million total raised, construction will soon begin on the 45,000-square-foot museum along with its five-acre outdoor component, including the current Children's Discovery Garden.
The museum will hold 150 hands-on exhibits in five main areas. While it's being advertised as Utah's newest children's museum, Mike Washburn, president and CEO of Thanksgiving Point, emphasized it is a museum built for families.
"It will offer those of all ages a chance to reconnect with the world through active play and assist in connecting parents with their children in a positive environment," he said.
Much of the groundbreaking ceremony was spent thanking the many donors who helped make the museum possible, including a $3 million donation from the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation. But just as much time was spent honoring the curious children, including Liu, who will be the real benefactors of the museum, scheduled to open in the spring of 2014.
For more information visit www.museumofnaturalcuriosity.com.