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Boca Raton Children’s Museum needs cash infusion now

City council asked for $150,000 for renovations

The main building at the Boca Raton Children’s Museum is in dire need of cash for renovations.

City council was asked for $150,000 for everything from new windows and siding to paint. “Our Singing Pines is totally deteriorating. If we don’t do something, it will fall down,” Ellyn Okrent told council Tuesday.

Built in 1913, the building houses the museum’s exhibits and story time space for younger children. Okrent is CEO of Florence Fuller Child Development Centers that took over the museum in October 2014.

The museum is on city property at 498 Crawford Blvd. down the street from city hall.  So far, the city has given the museum $355,000 in grants, Okrent said. They were used for repairs, operations, exhibits and a roof for the Rickards building.

Singing Pines was already tented for termites, a treated for a bee infestation and mold.

“We need sidewalks where the fence is out back, and we have to improve the property for safety,” Okrent said.

Habitat for Humanity is renovating The Cottage, built in 1935. The Rotary Club of Boca Raton just fenced the entire campus.

“You’ve been great stewards of our property,” said City Councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke.  Council didn’t immediately approve Okrent’s request but took it under advisement.

By Marci Shatzman

 

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