COLUMBUS, Ohio — Several central Ohio community members have come together in an effort to bring a children’s museum to Powell.
Jared Mills, a teacher and coach at Liberty Middle and High Schools, first came up with this idea several years ago.
"For my wife and I with our daughter, we wanted to keep her off a screen,” Mills said.
Mills said they did so by taking their daughter to children’s museums across the country, which got him thinking about new opportunities.
"Watching her engage and grow through those children’s museums, I really wanted a children’s museum locally,” Mills said.
Plans for a museum were in the works until the pandemic hit, which forced him to table the idea for a couple years, until Will Wang, a freshman at Liberty High School, came along.
"I emailed Coach Mills back in August of 2022 after I heard some rumors about his idea,” Wang said.
As a member of Mills’ cross country team and president of the youth council, Wang wanted to help bring a children’s museum to the city, and got the ball rolling again. He set up a meeting with Powell City Council to discuss their plans.
"We've been able to create, I guess, like the backbone of what the museum is going to be in the future,” Wang said.
Wang said he’s worked on business outreach, networking, and creating policies for the museum. It now has a board of directors and student ambassador team. As of March, Powell Children’s Museum was officially recognized as a nonprofit.
"Right now we're trying to find a location,” Mills said.
Mills said they’ve met with construction and design companies about their vision and are looking into what would be the best option for the community.
"Its going to be so fulfilling to see our hard work be able to pay off into a location,” Wang said.
Wang added he’s also been learning some life lessons along the way.
"Its taught me to like definitely be confident, to definitely I guess believe in yourself, believe in your goals,” Wang said.
Mills said Wang’s enthusiasm along with the other student ambassadors is what keeps him going.
"They have a really good pulse on the community and what the community needs,” Mills said.
Mills said they’re hopeful the museum will be up and running within the next couple years. The next steps involve locking in a location for the museum and securing funding.