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BOSTON-In its first major expansion, the Boston Children’s Museum will build a 22,000-sf, three-story addition to its landmark Fort Point Channel building that will give the private, nonprofit educational institution expanded exhibition and lobby space.

The expansion plans call for a new central entry, a lobby atrium featuring a climbing structure, a second floor “adventure center” to house health exhibits and a third floor “global gallery” that will be capable of holding large traveling exhibitions from around the world.

Plans for the project, which will increase program space at the museums existing 150,000-sf, six-story building, has received the approval of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which will maintain design review over the construction. The museum, which moved into the 117-year-old former wool warehouse on the waterfront in 1979, also has plans to renovate other space throughout the building during the construction.

The new addition, scheduled to begin in the spring of 2006 with completion expected to take 18 months, will be designed and built by Cambridge Seven Associates Inc., from Cambridge and locally based developers Leggat McCall Properties LLC and Shawmut Design and Construction.

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