‘It’s gonna break my heart’: COVID-19 pandemic causes Oakhurst children’s museum to close permanently

Local News

The Children's Museum of the Sierra first opened in 1997

OAKHURST, California (KSEE) — Staff at the Children’s Museum of the Sierra say the novel coronavirus pandemic has put them in too big of a hole to recover. The board has made the decision to shut the museum’s doors for good.

Jim Elliott, the museum’s director, has been with the museum since it first opened its doors 23 years ago. He said the pandemic caused the museum to lose its main source of revenue– admission fees.

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Elliot also adds that rent, bills, and wages still needed to be paid. The museum is already operating in the red and he said the board saw no way to continue.

“It’s going to be maybe up to a year before children would be coming back here to generate a constant income to pay our bills,” he said.

What hurts Elliott the most is the loss for local kids. In the last 23 years, the museum has given families, from the Oakhurst area and around the world, an interactive learning experience.

By the end of the month, everything will be out of the building. Elliott hopes to find a new home for it all, but he worries most of it will end up in the trash.

“We’re trying to contact other museums, give them anything they want,” he said. “But, that’s being difficult right now because they’re not open either. We’re having trouble finding the right people.”

Aside from other museums, Elliott is looking to donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst and daycare facilities.

If you’re interested in owning a piece from the museum, all you have to do is call. Their number is 559-658-5656.

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