ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As of Thursday, The Strong Museum of Play’s 90,000 square-foot expansion is progressing and is on time. The museum has a date for its grand opening celebration.
That’s Friday, June 30th.
The two-story expansion adds a new admissions area connected to the parking garage, a food court, and a handful of new exhibits, including a new home of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. Massive Strong Museum of Play expansion to be finished on time
A women in games exhibit and an interactive video games exhibit, museum leaders hope this will help them reach an important milestone.
“When we started planning this, we saw that we were running out of capacity here, we had more demand because play is such an important of people’s lives,” said CEO Steve Dubnik. “People want to understand the history and the importance of that. We so had an opportunity to expand and get towards that million people goal, which we still hope to do, and to do that, we needed to expand.”
There will also be a bus loop with the new entrance to better help traffic congestion.
Dubink says that The Strong originally wanted to start expansion to better serve its mission — preserving the history of play, and celebrating and studying the impact of play on society, the individual, and the culture” Dubnik said — to expand its visitorship capacity.
The Strong says in 2019, they hit 600,000 visitors. But by the middle of the decade, between the expanded “Neighborhood of Play,” as well as increased marketing efforts to bring visitors from outside of Rochester, The Strong is looking to hit 1 million visitors per year.
The 90,000 square foot expansion — which will increase the square footage of The Strong to 375,000 sq. feet — will add two new first-floor entrances, one for groups and the other will lead from the parking garage, into a new atrium. There will also be a new food court. Sand, Risk, American Girl Dolls inducted into National Toy Hall of Fame
But mainly, the expansion will add two exhibits that will fill the second floor, both on video games. The “High Score” exhibit will house the World Video game hall of fame, and to celebrate the people who make the games. The second exhibit is called “Level Up,” and will feature one immersive video game space. These are the new games inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame
“You will be able to go in, you’ll get an RFID bracelet, and interact with different games across the space, and get achievements,” Dubnik said.
The Neighborhood of Play
But the building expansion is one part of the puzzle. It may be the last to be completed, but it is nestled in the new “Neighborhood of Play.” WHY ROC: Unique brewery opening near Neighborhood of Play in Downtown Rochester
The new neighborhood is in the filled-in Inner Loop East. The new housing in that area, according to Dubnik, is now fully occupied. A hotel that is going up across the street is scheduled to be completed early 2023. Nerdvana and Nine Spot Brewing are also nearly completed. Fattey Beer Company coming to Rochester’s Neighborhood of Play
Dubnik says that these new businesses, as well The Strong Expansion will create 140 jobs. Previously, The Strong said this project will result in an annual economic impact of $130 million.
The street the “Vida” complex is on, Adventure Place, will also have a separate bus loop to help alleviate any possible traffic issues.
Check out this slideshow of renderings provided by The Strong: Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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