Betty Brinn not joining Milwaukee Public Museum's new facility

Betty Brinn Children's Museum will not be joining the Milwaukee Public Museum at its new facility as was originally planned, officials said in a statement Friday.

In 2021, the Milwaukee Public Museum announced that a team had been picked to build a new museum that would also house a new Betty Brinn Children's Museum facility.

Set to open in 2026, the plan for the new museum is to be near the Deer District – on the northeast corner of 6th and McKinley. With 230,000 square feet to work with, the museum would have plenty of space for exhibits, visitor services, a cafe, gift store, underground parking, an auditorium and more.

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Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley signed legislation on Monday, March 21 of this year that provides $45 million in bonded funding to the Milwaukee Public Museum for the construction of the future building.

The Milwaukee Public Museum remains committed to its new facility project, officials said in a news release.

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In a statement Betty Brinn's Board of Directors said:

"The Board of Directors for Betty Brinn Children’s Museum (BBCM) determined that it is no longer in the organization’s strategic best interest to pursue a move to a new construction building at this time.

"As the planning process unfolded through 2021 and early 2022, budgetary calculations changed dramatically, both due to external pressures related to inflation and updated plans that would have called for additional costs to design and construct BBCM exhibits. These factors led BBCM to the difficult decision that it should not build and operate a new construction children’s museum as part of this project. BBCM will remain at its current location while it considers alternative opportunities.

"Both organizations wish each other the best of luck and much success as they move forward on separate paths."

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