CHARLOTTESVILLE — Childhood is full of change and transformation, and Charlottesville’s children’s museum is doing some growing of its own this month.

On April 9, a month-long renovation kicked off at the Virginia Discovery Museum as volunteers from the Building Goodness Foundation teamed up with UVA students from Madison House’s Big Event to help the nonprofit children’s museum commemorate its 25th anniversary on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. Led by volunteer project managers Jack Horn and Arthur Rogers of Martin Horn, Inc., volunteers started work this past weekend to install a new floor and ceiling, lighting, and paint in the museum’s front gallery.

“The board and staff of the Virginia Discovery Museum are thrilled to have the support of our community in executing our 25th Anniversary Renovation,” the museum’s interim executive director Janine Dozier said. “We are thankful to the many individuals, corporations, and foundations who have contributed to the renovation fund and to partner organizations like Building Goodness Foundation and Madison House who are helping us create a world class educational resource for local children.”

The facelift paves the way for new programming and exhibit opportunities for VDM, including a Sensory Studio for children ages birth to 2 and special needs visitors, a STEM Lab, Sound and Music Studio, Literacy Lounge reading area, Construction Zone, and an enhanced Creation Station art studio. Though these six new exhibits are fully funded, the Discovery Museum continues to fundraise to install new seating and signage throughout the museum. 

VDM will be closed for renovation until early May, but visitors can still enjoy a sampling of current exhibits at the museum’s pop-up spot at 503 East Main St. on the Downtown Mall. The city of Charlottesville has granted the museum use of the vacant space next to the city’s Parks & Recreation office, and it will be open to guests from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday starting April 11. Admission to the pop-up museum is a suggested $5 donation per family, and VDM members are free with their membership card.