COLUMBUS, Neb. -- After beginning plans in 2020, the Columbus Area Children’s Museum opened its doors to an audience they hope to see throughout the upcoming months and years…over 100 children from the community.

The 10,000 sq. ft. building was christened on Thursday morning with a visit from local elementary students from Emerson Elementary School just down the road from the museum.

Those students and other children in the community were able to be the first to test drive the new museum.

Director of the museum Alyssa Miller said the day was filled with emotions due to the amount of work put in to get to the ribbon cutting.

“It’s so exciting because we worked months and months to get to this point where the kids can be in here, and seeing everything that we worked so hard to accomplish and build and create for them,” Miller said.

Lindsay was one of the first donors towards the Children’s museum and Director of Operations Gary Stokes said it is amazing to give children an opportunity to learn about agriculture.

“It is providing future generations with that ability to think about their job, how they’re going to affect the world [and] feed the world," Stokes said. "I’m just so proud to be apart of that."

While Miller said the museum goes above and beyond her expectations, the plan is to continue the growth of the museum and they are already gearing up for the summer season.

“On Monday, we just released our summer camp registration, so summer camps are the next big thing for us," Miller said. "So, we’re excited for that too.”

With an expected increase in tourism and a good reception from Children’s Museum members, Miller said seeing the project come to completion made the hours spent on the project worth it.

“When kids walk in and get that big-eyed look and are just so excited and happy, there’s no better feeling…or feeling of success when you see that happening,” Miller said.