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April 25, 2018

Western Maine Play Museum construction nears final stage

WILTON — Construction on an interactive children's museum on Main Street will start back up soon, and completion of the project is expected this year.

The Western Maine Play Museum project began in 2014, when the York family donated the house at 561 Main St.

With much of the construction done, Upright Frameworks, of Wilton, was recently named winning bidder for completion of the interior work, which will be paid for with with a portion of a $157,484 Northern Border Regional Commission grant awarded to the town last summer.

The grant will also help upgrade the Main Street water and sewer connection from residential to commercial and allow for a sprinkler system.

That grant allowed completion of Phase 2 of the project — renovating the 1,500-square-foot carriage house — to be completed along with the first phase, which means the full 6,000 square feet will open this year.

The carriage house will be home to the museum's largest exhibit space, with a 1,000-square-foot child-sized play village with restaurant, grocery store, auto mechanic, theater and more.

Most of the upcoming exterior renovations will be funded through a facade grant, administered through the town, part of a $150,000 grant the town was awarded last year. The museum's portion, $30,000, must be matched with $60,000 worth of improvements.

That work includes accessibility ramps, exterior doors and other street-view elements, said a news release from the museum.

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