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Children's Museum wants to help city connect

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Children's Museum wants to help city connect
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Utica's Children's Museum has been a place for fun and learning for Utica's youth for nearly 50 years. Our Sarah Blazonis tells us how the museum now wants to play a role in revitalizing the city for residents of all ages.

UTICA, N.Y. -- "Now, we're gonna close this down and then you're going to pretend you're 10,000 feet in the air and you're taking off on your way to Japan," said Bradley Brown, a volunteer at the Children's Museum in Utica as he helped a young boy climb into a model plane.

Imagination and learning have been coming together at the Children's Museum of History, Science, & Technology for 47 years.

"They can come here, they ask a lot of questions, they really enjoy trying to understand about different things, and I think with the different floor models they have there's always something different for them to do," said Steve Dargenio, who brought his sons to the museum Saturday morning.

Now officials say it has the opportunity to bring together Utica's North Side with the rest of the city. The museum's executive director has suggested building a walkway from their property in Bagg's Square East to Harbor Point to those working on the city's Master Plan.

"That would then be a 15 minute walk for people walking or pushing baby strollers or wheelchairs or riding bikes," said executive director Marlene Brown.

The museum sees about 10,000 visitors every year and officials say that, along with the fact that it's right next to the city's Union Station, are two of the ways it can play an important role in connecting different parts of the city.

"So people will come in by train, they'll be able to come in here, enjoy this, all the other things in the city. Then they can take that walkway, go across to Harbor Point, and enjoy everything there," said Marlene Brown.

Officials also say bringing attention to the museum could help attract families looking to relocate to the Mohawk Valley.

"They want quality education, they want quality health care, they want law enforcement, emergency services, but they also want places to take their children where they can both be entertained and educated," said Bradley Brown, who's also a member of the museum's Board of Directors.

City officials say increasing connectivity between neighborhoods is an important goal of the Master Plan. Engineers are expected to take a look at the feasibility of walkways like the one proposed at the museum in the coming week.

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