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El Paso Children’s Museum designs are up for a vote

Renderings of what the new El Paso Children’s Museum could look like. El Pasoans can now vote on their favorite design.

El Paso is one step closer to getting a new children’s museum.

In fact, now the city and museum officials are asking for your help.

The El Paso’s Children Museum is now in the design phase.

Three architect firms from around the globe: California, Norway and Mexico City have released their designs.

Now, the designs are up for a vote, so you can decide on your favorite.

"It's an opportunity to really do something different in El Paso that's never been done before,” said founding director of El Paso’s Children’s Museum, Paul Kortenaar.

It’s a new space for kids to learn and experience.

"I think that each of the ideas that were presented, really was appropriate for El Paso and that was really important for us,” he said.

The museum will be located in the Downtown Arts District.

It’ll sit between the El Paso Museum of History and the El Paso Museum of Art.

"We know that the kind of educational experience a museum like this provides, is necessary for every child,” said Kortenaar.

The museum is a part of the $473 million quality of life bond, voters approved in 2012.

"Three different finalist groups were tasked with creating an idea, a design that gives the public an idea of what the museum could be,” he said.

The architect firms have put their ideas on paper.

"None of these are final designs of the museum, instead they're ideas of what's possible of the site,” he said.

All three firms told KFOX14 that they kept El Paso’s culture and history in the mix.

"The landscape in El Paso is very unique, the way the city and the mountains interact with each other,” said Elaine Molinar, partner of Snohetta, a firm based in Norway.

She said she is from El Paso, so it’s exciting to be able to have an opportunity to design something for her home town.

While Andy Spurlock, landscape architect principal for Spurlock Landscape Architects said he and the team he’s working with, KoningEizenberg, looked at El Paso’s culture for some inspiration.

"The topography, the geography, and then the cultural connection between Juarez and El Paso,” he said.

While another architect, Enrique Norten with Ten Arquitectos from Mexico City said he understands El Paso’s history and culture.

"Most of its roots are part of the same roots as ours, so it's about open space, public space and what we call a plaza,” he said.

Kortenaar said there’s still a lot of work to be done.

"You can see that my fingers are crossed, I'm really hoping, actually in three to four years,” he said.

You’re encouraged to vote for your favorite design idea.

The designs will be on display at the El Paso Museum of Art.

You can vote for your favorite design here: https://epcf.org/childrens_museum/architecture

Voting begins at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 5 and will run through Friday, Dec. 15.

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