Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Wayne Baker / WYSO

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery's Springfield satellite location has six months to decide if it will remain at its current Upper Valley Mall location, or move downtown.  The Springfield city commission has approved leasing the downtown Myers Market Building, which currently houses United Senior Services, to the Boonshoft according to Mark Meister, Boonshoft's president.

Boonshoft's lease at the mall ends March 31st, but  Meister is hoping that the museum can stay in Springfield—even though attendance dipped to just more than 20,000 in 2015, from more than 25,000 in 2014.

Springfield's Upper Valley Mall, built in 1971, has suffered from the loss of several anchor tenants.
Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr/Creative Commons

Springfield's financially troubled Upper Valley Mall has been put up for auction by its owners.  The mall has been in decline after losing several anchor stores.

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery's satellite operation in Springfield's Upper Valley Mall is facing a tough decision. Even though attendance at the museum has been steady, the mall is struggling to survive.

Since 2012, Elder-Beerman, Macy's, JCPenney, Old Navy and Charlotte Russe have closed their doors. And just across the street, Hobby Lobby and K-Mart have recently shut down, too.

Wayne Baker / WYSO

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery's satellite operation in Springfield's Upper Valley Mall is up and running in a new, larger space. Mall officials are hoping the museum will lead to an economic revival. 

Youngsters, Riley and Ben, are at the new Boonshoft Museum, admiring a popular exhibit with the sounds of whistles and bright lights glaring around them. Their grandmother, Joe Johnson, likes the fact that the new museum is at the Upper Valley mall, because she lives in Clark County.

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery's satellite operation in Springfield's Upper Valley Mall will be moving into a much larger space  in November. The former Elder-Beerman site in the mall will now house the museum.

Boonshoft opened in the Upper Valley Mall in early March with a short term lease to run through the end of August. The plan was to see if the Clark County area would warm up to the museum's only satellite

Plans for the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery to open a satellite operation in Springfield's Upper Valley Mall are ahead of schedule. The museum is now on pace to open in early March.

Boonshoft's vice-president of external relations Diane Farrell, says the museum received an overwhelming positive response by Clark County residents and mall management when the idea of locating at the Upper Valley Mall was proposed.

Farrell says the satellite museum will be an interactive experience designed for family fun.

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