Expansion at Strong Museum will ‘connect the community’

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Strong National Museum of Play will have 90,000 additional square feet to play on come 2023.

The all-new "Neighborhood Expansion" is starting to take shape. News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey took a tour with President and CEO of the museum, Steve Dubnik.

What’s to come? A new welcome center, new exhibits, an outdoor play garden and even a digital preservation lab. The two new exhibits are all about the digital world.

"We’re creating a new community area to bring people together and to celebrate ‘Play’," Dubnik said.

"The King of Play" is how Dubnik describes himself. He said this expansion project will connect communities.

"When the inner loop was there before, it really was a moat that separated this part of the city from that part of the city," Dubnik said. "Now you’ll be able to walk place to place, and there are people who are now living here."

Now, getting to the good stuff. The museum got $2 million in state funding that will go towards a new atrium called "Portal of Play". For all you video game lovers, these two new exhibits are for you! "High Score" and "Level Up".

"It will go on this floor here, an interactive place, where you can create an avatar, you take it around with you and play throughout the museum, 40 different interactions giving the opportunity to score points, and to get higher and higher scores as you go through it,” Dubnik said in excitement.

But that’s not game over. The expansion will also create a welcome center, an outdoor play garden where guests can enjoy games, and a new cafe. As well as a facility that will have climate-controlled storage space and digital labs. The museum predicts that yearly admission will grow from the current 600,000 to 1 million visitors a year after the expansion is complete, and that date is around early summer of 2023.