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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The board of directors for the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and SciWorks announced Thursday morning that the two organizations will merge.

Administrators say the merger will take place by July 1 and may combine museum operations into a single larger building in downtown Winston-Salem.

By combining resources, both organizations hope to reduce costs, offer better visitor access, expand educational programming and pursue a combined mission: “Inspiring wonder, curiosity and lifelong learning in our children and community through interactive play and discovery.”

“The new organization will expand on both museums’ commitment to developing exhibits and programs that provide authentic educational experiences grounded in research-based pedagogy,” said Children’s Museum Executive Director Elizabeth Dampier. “The combined museum will remain focused on our key themes of literacy and science but would offer much greater programming.”

Both organizations said they hope this merger will make downtown Winston-Salem a major destination that can compete with museums in Charlotte and Greensboro; raising the question of how a move would be funded.

“We would be working together with the county to figure out how to finance a move like that,” said Paul Kortenaar, SciWorks executive director.

The organizations, along with county commissioners, are also exploring their options in respect to if a new building, or existing one, would be their best bet.

“There’s always compromises if you go into an existing location, we’d like to start with a  blank slate that allowed us to think about the development of the building together with the kind of mission and programming that we deliver,” Kortenaar said.