KidsWork Children’s Museum Announcement
The Frankfort Park District recently became aware that the Frankfort KidsWork Children’s Museum (KCM) announced a potential move to New Lenox.
This year, the Frankfort Park District Board met with members of the museum board to discuss their interest in partnering with a municipality or park district. A partnership of this kind could provide financial stability and opportunities for the museum including an expanded facility. The KCM Board shared that they had hoped to remain in Frankfort but would be looking outside the community to secure a partnership. The Park District Board and staff, value the recreation and educational opportunities that the museum provides to the residents of Frankfort and the greater suburban area. If the museum were to leave Frankfort, they would be greatly missed. The KidsWork Children’s Museum staff and Board provide a quality destination to the downtown area which generates economic tourism.
The Frankfort Park District has had past discussion with the KidsWork Children’s Museum regarding partnering together. When the park district was evaluating the purchase of former Borg Warner plant, with the vast space in the facility, there was opportunities discussed about bringing the museum to that property. The Park District was not able to secure the Borg Warner facility prior to it being sold. The Park District had a referendum on the 2022 ballot to increase funding for park operation and maintenance, but voters did not support the additional funding.
As it is, the park district works with the limited financial resources we to maintain existing parks and facilities. There is not adequate funding for the development of new parks and/or a recreation facility or museum facility. The Frankfort Park District has limited bonding capacity compared to other municipalities in the area. The park district’s bonding capacity is limited to the tax-cap otherwise known as P-Tell. To generate funds to build new recreation facility or a facility for the museum, it would require the Park District to pass a referendum via a tax increase.
Should the KidsWork Children’s Museum move to New Lenox, they will be greatly missed. The resource provided by their museum staff and their Board are an asset to Frankfort. To learn more about the Kids Work Children Museum visit http://KidsWorkchildrensmuseum.org/page/updates