Quest Academy wants to open children's museum in Palatine
Quest Academy in Palatine wants to open a children's museum as part of its private-school operation in a retail plaza.
Under the plan expected to be up for Palatine village council consideration Feb. 4, the museum would be constructed in empty space next to Quest Academy's preschool. Quest, which educates intellectually gifted children in preschool through eighth grade, also operates in other sections of Palatine Centre on Northwest Highway, between Smith and Benton streets.
Amanda Davey, Quest's director of enrollment management, said students up to third grade would be heavily involved in the interactive museum.
"Our preschool to third grade are the ones designing, building, operating. They're the ones being the docents," Davey told the Palatine plan commission this week before the advisory panel gave the proposal a thumbs-up.
Gary Mann, a Quest lower-school art teacher, would be in charge of the children's museum. Mann said art, technology, science, engineering and mathematics would be part of the interactive rotating exhibits.
Quest would offer opportunities for students in other schools to make group visits to the children's museum. It also would be available to the public for two or three hours on weekends.
"The (Quest) kids will be able to show this to the community," Mann said.
Davey said students would be expected to learn life skills by helping run the museum, such as making eye contact with others and being articulate.
As a nonprofit entity, Quest doesn't generate sales tax or other revenue for Palatine. However, plan commission member Conrad Hansen said Quest would fill one of 10 vacant spaces at Palatine Centre and bring more visitors there with the children's museum.
"Ten vacancies in a small strip like that, that's not helping anybody," Hansen said.
Quest officials said they believe the children's museum would be well received because there is nothing like it in or around Palatine. Kohl's Children's Museum in Glenview is the closest such offering to the Palatine area.