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Children’s Museum of Tacoma brings satellite museum to JBLM

Former skating rink to be renovated

The satellite Children’s Museum of Tacoma coming to Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be located in the former skating rink building close to a number of children activities on Lewis Main. Photo credit: U.S. Army

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The Children's Museum of Tacoma and Joint Base Lewis-McChord officials announced Tuesday the Children's Museum of Tacoma will open a satellite museum on JBLM in 2020.

The 21,000-square-foot museum, the first children's museum on a U.S. military base, will be located in the former JBLM skating rink building, which is adjacent to the JBLM children's water park, the skate park and the Freedom Park outdoor performance venue on Lewis Main -- and it will be free for anyone on JBLM.

"Today's Children's Museum of Tacoma announcement to open the first facility of its kind on a U.S. military base is remarkable," said Col. Nicole Lucas, JBLM Garrison commander, Tuesday at the museum. "This is a momentous occasion for the servicemembers and military families on Joint Base Lewis-McChord."

The museum, in partnership with JBLM Children and Youth Programs at JBLM, will serve children and youth with an emphasis on military families' early learners.

"We have thousands of kids stationed at JBLM, and I can't think of a better place to create the first on-base children's museum than Joint Base Lewis-McChord," Lucas said. "Between deployments, frequent moves, making new friends and parents being away for training, military life can be tough on kids. The (museum) at JBLM will provide opportunities for children to grow through play, for families to connect and strengthen relationships and for parents to build their social support networks."

This project is supported by commitments from both the Children's Museum of Tacoma and JBLM. For the Children's Museum of Tacoma, this project is part of its More than a Museum Campaign that strives to broaden their reach past just the walls of its Tacoma-based museum. For JBLM, the base is committed to renovate and modify the old skating rink building to ensure it is ready for the museum.

Renovations will begin later in the fall and should be complete by the winter of 2020.

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