Key Decision Nearing On Effort To Create Children's Science Museum In Ventura County

Jul 5, 2017

This could be a big summer for a more than three year old effort to create a new museum in Ventura County, one focused on educating kids.

KidSTREAM Children’s Museum of Ventura County is a non-profit group trying to create a museum which will use fun activities and exhibits to get kids interested in subjects like science, and math.

Kristy Akl, who’s a former science teacher, says the idea hit her as she was returning home to Ventura County after taking her children to a kids science museum in Pasadena. She chairs the group trying to create the museum in the county.

It’s an expensive proposition, with the price tag estimated to be $12 to $15 million dollars, but one of the key elements of the project, a building, may already exist.

KidSTREAM is hoping to get the old City of Camarillo Library. The building in a park on the 3000 block of Ponderosa Road has been vacant for a decade, since the city’s library moved to a new, larger facility on Las Posas Road. The project’s boosters say the size of the building, and its central location in the county all work in its favor. Because it has a huge lawn area, the idea would be to create an indoor/outdoor museum.

Annie Ransom is a science coach for teachers at University Preparation Charter School in Camarillo, and on the board of the museum project. She says it would be a great addition to the community, and would be customized to reflect the community, with an emphasis on agriculture.

If the non-profit gets the Ponderosa Drive site, the effort will move into a whole different phase, to raise money need for building renovations and for the museum exhibits. They’ve received strong community support, with families sending letters to city officials asking them to support the effort. And, one of the biggest boosters is the head of the Pasadena KidSPACE museum, which may also collaborate with the Ventura County museum if it becomes a reality.

Supporters say it would also be a big boost for Camarillo, attracting visitors and leading to the revitalization of an aging building on a major street which is now gathering dust. The project’s boosters say they expect the City of Camarillo to make a decision on whether the museum will get the long vacant building in the next few weeks.

Link to KidSTREAM website: www.kidstream.org