Soon the sawdust will clear and the sound of power tools cease at the former People's National Bank building on Main Street in downtown Rock Hill - and preschoolers will have a new place to play.
Exhibit fabricators this week are installing the main attractions at the new Children's Museum on Main Street - interactive play exhibits for children 6 and younger, inspired by the artwork of the late Vernon Grant, who lived the last half of his life in Rock Hill.
Drawing directly from Grant's playful characters and fantastical landscapes, the museum attractions include:
A giant tree house;
A sailing ship;
A castle with dress-up station, located in the old bank vault;
A little home and garden;
A baby pumpkin play area for infants;
A birthday party space overlooking the museum floor.
Paid for by Rock Hill, York County and private donations, the $1.2 million children's museum is scheduled to open - on budget and on schedule - on Dec. 2, coinciding with ChristmasVille.
Meeting that deadline has led to "a beehive of activity," said Owen Glendening, deputy director for interpretation for the Culture & Heritage Museums.
Workers from Chicago-based Redbox Workshop are assembling the exhibits they built in their studio and delivered in pieces to the museum in a 53-foot tractor-trailer truck.
"Only the baby pumpkin we were able to fully mock up in the shop," said Redbox's Emily Kneer, who's managing the installation.
Assembling everything for the first time leads to "inevitable details" that need modification, Kneer said, but the team is still on schedule.
The museum should be ready for final building inspection by the end of the week, Glendening said.