Creel said that, should this expansion work, the museum is already looking at other growth options, though “there’s certainly nothing definite,” she said.
Creel said museum officials did not look to the southern Miami Valley, as that region is already served by the Dayton and Cincinnati markets. She also noted that the Boonshoft already has a presence in Warren County, where it runs Fort Ancient in Oregonia on behalf of the Ohio Historical Society. The Museum also operates SunWatch Indian Village in Dayton.
The new branch houses interactive science exhibits geared toward elementary-school age children, demonstrating scientific concepts concerning light, energy, air and earth, Creel said. Exhibition pieces include a touch-sensitive light floor, magnetic tables, a circuit “train” and a child-size replica of the Wright B Flyer.
There also will be rotating live animal exhibits and astronomy programs, as well as a gift shop and an interactive space for younger children, Creel said.
Admission will cost $2 for children and $3 for adults, with members of the Dayton Society of Natural History, the museum’s parent organization, admitted for free. The branch will be closed Monday and Tuesday, but will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m.
Those hours could expand if the demand is there, Creel said. Local demand also will determine whether the Boonshoft has a permanent presence in Springfield, as hoped, she said.