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LeChase Construction celebrates 'topping off' of Explore & More Children's Museum project


Mon, Dec 4th 2017 03:10 pm
LeChase Construction has placed the last steel beam onto the top of the $29 million Explore & More Children's Museum at Canalside in downtown Buffalo. A milestone event, called a "topping off" ceremony in the construction industry, was held recently with members of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., museum leaders and local schoolchildren to celebrate the occasion.
As part of the event, construction workers attached a tree and a flag to the beam, which was signed by attendees and then hoisted into place. The tree and flag are based on a Scandinavian tradition of timber-frame building: A tree is placed on the topmost beam, often with flags or streamers.
LeChase is the construction management firm for the 43,000-square-foot museum, which is expected to open by the end of 2018. The Explore & More project is expected to create 36 full-time jobs, in addition to 40 construction jobs, and bring 250,000 new visitors annually to Buffalo's waterfront.
"LeChase is proud to be a part of this vital tourism and economic development project for downtown Buffalo," said Jeffrey Panza, director, Buffalo Region, for LeChase. "Our company is committed to Buffalo Niagara and Western New York, and we're honored to play such a critical role for a truly transformational project."
The four-story brick museum - designed by Fontanese, Folts, Aubrecht and Ernst ­- will house seven educational play zones offering hands-on activities and exhibits for children and families. It will also house a café overlooking the canal towpath, along with museum retail space. The ground floor will include two entrances for museum guests, allowing school groups to enter separate from daily visitors to help improve the experience for everyone. The second floor includes a two-story space along the canals and the third floor provides an ideal location for several exhibits and views of the Buffalo River. On the fourth floor, overlooking the city skyline, a rooftop terrace will allow museum visitors to enjoy Canalside from a unique vantage point.
It's estimated that, in addition to museum admission, visitors to Explore & More at Canalside will spend a projected $4.9 million per year in the immediate neighborhood. The project site is within walking distance to a number of Buffalo's existing or planned cultural attractions.
In the first 10 years of operation, the museum is projected to have a $208 million economic impact on the region.
LeChase Construction, established in 1944, is a full-service construction management and general construction firm with extensive experience in a broad range of industry sectors. Widely recognized for its commitment to quality, innovation and safety, LeChase prides itself on ensuring its core values resonate from its corporate offices to each of its jobsites. LeChase has strategic alliances, mobile job teams and operational support, enabling the company to provide local delivery and meet the unique needs of its clients no matter where they are located. To learn more, visit www.lechase.com.

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