Lighthouse Lookout Construction Begins at Hands On Children’s Museum

A rendering by Mort James III, AIA shows the new Lighthouse Lookout exhibit under construction now at The Hands On Children's Museum.

Submitted by The Hands on Children’s Museum

The Hands On Children’s Museum has selected Mike Auderer, president of Olympia Construction, as the contractor for the much-anticipated Lighthouse Lookout exhibit opening in late spring in the museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center.

The 30-foot-tall lighthouse was designed by Mort James III, AIA, and will be a featured highlight in the museum’s popular half-acre outdoor space. Young visitors can experience a historic lighthouse and climb a circular staircase through three levels to the lantern house where they will be able to survey the Puget Sound and learn more about maritime history.

This image shows the Outdoor Discovery Center as it will appear when the new Lighthouse Lookout exhibit is complete. Artwork credit: Mort James III, AIA
This image shows the Outdoor Discovery Center as it will appear when the new Lighthouse Lookout exhibit is complete. Artwork credit: Mort James III, AIA

“We couldn’t think of a better choice of contractors,” said immediate Past-President Drew Phillips of the HOCM Board of Directors, who is one of the owners of FORMA Construction. “Mike is the current president of the Olympia Master Builders and has pledged OMB support to help keep the cost of the exhibit as low as possible.”

The Olympia Master Builders has rallied its members twice in the past to support major construction projects for the museum. In fact, in 1998 OMB won a national service medal for its members’ contributions to the museum’s first major renovation when it moved to the Capitol Campus. More than 35 donors have contributed funds to pay for the construction work not covered through in-kind contributions. In addition, the architect Mort James donated all of the design fees, and Mike Visser of Visser Engineering donated the engineering work.

Local sculptor Dan Michael has been commissioned to create an interactive sculpture of a mother Orca and her baby that will be placed at the base of the lighthouse. From the top of the lighthouse, children will be able to look down on the orcas below.

A rendering by Mort James III, AIA shows the new Lighthouse Lookout exhibit under construction now at The Hands On Children's Museum.
Children will be able to view sculptures of swimming orcas from the top of Lighthouse Lookout at the HOMC.

“We are so excited to watch this project come to life this spring,” said Patty Belmonte, the museum’s executive director. “This project will help connect children to our maritime environment while adding another element of fun and adventure to the museum.”

The lighthouse grand opening will be part of the museum’s Summer Splash!, its new summer festival of fun, with special activities planned each week June-August of 2016. 

For Video Information about the Lighthouse Lookout visit: http://www.hocm.org/outdoor-discovery-center/

About Hands On Children’s Museum

The Hands On Children’s Museum is Washington State’s most-visited youth museum serving 300,000 visitors annually, including more than 100,000 who visit through free and reduced-fee access. The award-winning facility opened on Olympia’s East Bay waterfront in late 2012 after a move from the Capitol Campus. The Museum was just featured in a Sunset Magazine article about the top 13 Children’s Museums in the West.

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