New EdVenture location coming to downtown Hartsville

New EdVenture location coming to downtown Hartsville
Source: Drew Hansen
Source: Drew Hansen

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - EdVenture is opening its first satellite location in downtown Hartsville.

The children's museum is expected to open its doors in 2018 along Carolina Avenue and Sixth Street.

Hartsville City Manager Natalie Zeigler said the EdVenture museum will be the perfect anchor in the downtown area to be able to offer an educational experience for families.

"Our community has given so much. We've raised over a million to make this a reality in Hartsville. They've done such an amazing job responding. We know this is huge and we had to have this here in Hartsville," Zeigler said.

The city purchased the 6,000-square-foot vacant building that will soon be filled with EdVenture learning exhibits and programs. It will be geared to early childhood education up to 8 years old.

"I think this will cater more to the younger child, but that's really important to catch them young and get them interested in learning without them thinking they are learning. Get them in here and excited. I think this is a really great addition to our town," Zeigler said.

The museum will showcase five different exhibits, including a grocery store, a bank, a vet and an ambulance parked inside for kids to explore. Zeigler said EdVenture is in charge of all of the curriculum and educational aspects. All exhibits will touch on literacy, math, art and science.

Zeigler also expressed the impact EdVenture, which is partnering with Darlington County School, will have on the community outside the walls of the museum.

"So they will be going into the schools and making presentations. Plus, we hope this is a place for field trips. We absolutely envision buses parked outside, letting the kids come in. We've been talking about a food court close to downtown with picnic tables so kids can come and sit in a nice shaded area outside the museum," she said.

The city of Hartsville paid $100,000 in upfit costs to renovate the inside space and Zeigler said $200,000 on top of that was the result of fundraisers.

EdVenture will spend $600,000 just on the exhibits alone.

"I've learned working closely with EdVenture, they can't price the tickets to where they need to be because it wouldn't be affordable to the community and one of the most important things is an educational environment, but also affordable," Zeigler said.

Getting EdVenture to open in Hartsville has been in the works the last 12 to 18 months. Brandy Johnson is part of a co-committee to plan a benefit.

"I can't wait to see everything come together in here," Johnson said. "Right now it's just a big, empty space, so it's going to be exciting. We've been to the one in Columbia and you walk in, it's like, 'Wow.' So can't wait to see that here in Hartsville."

Johnson is involved in a Ladies Night Out event on Sept. 28 at Prestwood Country Club to benefit the museum. All proceeds will go to supporting EdVenture. To find out how to buy tickets and get involved, click here.

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