BATESVILLE, Ind. – After years of hosting successful camps and regional school programs, Kids Discovery Factory (KDF) is pleased to announce it finally has a permanent home. Thanks to the creative vision and generosity of Batesville Tool & Die (BTD), KDF will move forward with plans to renovate an existing three-story building on Sycamore Street in downtown Batesville.
Upon completion, the future home of KDF will serve as a world-class field trip and regional tourism destination, engaging thousands of kids from across southeastern Indiana in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM).
KDF identified the building, formerly owned by Jeffrey and Melissa Tucker, while conducting due diligence on a variety of possible locations. The excellent condition of the structure and mechanical systems, in addition to the location, size and potential for modification, made it a prime consideration. In combination with the neighboring vacant lot, previously French’s Meat Locker, KDF will be able to expand the footprint using a phased approach.
BTD is a long-time supporter of KDF’s summer camps and hosted a Mobile Factory visit for employees’ families. When approached by KDF about the building, BTD Board Member Ronda Green expressed excitement at the opportunity to make a foundational impact to the project. BTD President and CEO, Jody Fledderman, said, “We want the community to know Batesville Tool & Die is committed to STEAM. This is right up our alley in terms of what we do, the people we employ and the kids we can employ in the future.”
KDF intends to complete renovation of the existing building and open phase one within 12 months. The organization will install three floors of engaging exhibits, providing hands-on experiences with STEAM concepts. The phase two expansion into the neighboring lot will allow the addition of KDF’s largest exhibit areas.
Amber McGuire, Executive Director of KDF, said, “The partnership with Batesville Tool & Die allows us to bring our planning for a brick and mortar location to life. Their commitment to strengthening workforce development for regional manufacturers and improving quality of life for residents of southeastern Indiana is truly inspirational. We are thankful for the support of such visionary leaders.”
KDF has hosted 800 students during its seven years of summer STEAM enrichment camps and engaged more than 12,000 kids with its traveling school exhibit program, Kids Discovery Mobile Factory. Regional attendance in the phase one building is estimated at 30,000 visitors annually, increasing tourism traffic to 50,000 once phase two opens.
Fledderman stated, “In my opinion, this is one of the best giving opportunities that has come along for this community in a long time.” Funding for the project will be obtained through a capital campaign, which will be launched later this year.
For additional information contact:
Kids Discovery Factory
Batesville Tool & Die
812-934-5616 ext. 3200
Photo: Jody Fledderman & Ronda Green (BTD) and Amber McGuire (KDF)