KiDiMu installs pirate treehouse
By CONNIE MEARS
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
May 6, 2010 · 4:24 PM
Skeleton crew working hard to make June 5 grand opening.
Arrr matey, landlubbers who drove down Winslow Way Tuesday morning might have stumbled on quite a sight: An elaborate pirate treehouse, the centerpiece display in KiDiMu’s new location, being unloaded off a flatbed truck.
It took some big kid toys to get the three-ton display off the truck and into KiDiMu’s new location at The Island Gateway, corner of State Route 305 and Winslow Way.
Mike Hill, from Hill Moving Services, had to fetch extra-long forklift extensions to get the treehouse off the truck.
The base, made from a hollowed-out tree, was lifted from above using a heavy-duty chain. Together, the tree and house will tower one-and-a-half stories just inside the doors of KiDiMu’s new home. A tightly curving slide will spill kids into the adjacent exhibit, “OurTown.”
The building was custom-designed so the front glass panel could be opened to allow for the treehouse’s arrival.
That was just to get it inside. Once there, a team tackled the precarious job of assembling the components with limited wall clearance.
The structure will eventually be bolted to the museum floor.
“I’m really pleased with the tree trunk,” said KiDiMu Executive Director Susan Sivitz. “It’s a real tree, but not harvested. They use only fallen trees, but the texture is wonderful.”
The arrival of the treehouse culminates more than two years’ worth of planning.
“They’ve been talking about this since before I came,” Sivitz said. “Now we’re just really eager for the community to experience the new KiDiMu.”
The whimsical treehouse, complete with pirate flag, crow’s nest and a fairly gruesome-looking skeleton, brought out the kid in The Island Gateway superintendent Alex Olson.
“Arr,” he growled while driving the forklift. “I’ll bet we’re having more fun than you arrr.”
Two fund-raising events
Saturday is the last day for kids to create original artwork on tiles ($50) that will become part of the museum. Tiles can be painted or imprinted with a child’s handprint as a fund raiser for the museum.
An adult fund raiser is set for 6 p.m. Thursday for the first 100 people to RSVP to 855-4650. Get a sneak peek at the museum, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine, and be part of supporting the museum. Admission is free; donations will be taken.Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Connie Mears at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 842-6613.