JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY -

A teacher with more than 30 years of experience has teamed with other teachers to start Jacksonville's first children's museum.

Liz Owens and a colleague got the idea for the museum in 2005. Owens felt Jacksonville needed a safe place for children to learn and play.

Zing Zumm Children's Museum of Jacksonville will open at the former Fire Station No. 2 building on Barn Street. The museum board needs to raise $400,000 to turn the building into a state-of-the-art facility by early next year.

The building will house seven interactive exhibits for children to touch and experience.

Owens said Jacksonville's high number of young military families makes it the perfect place for a children's museum.

"We had a feasibility study done when we first got started to see if this was an area that would support a museum, and by far it was because of the transient area. Every year we know that we are going to get new people," said Owens.

She said the best thing the public can do to help is watch for board members asking for donations.

If you'd like to help or make a donation, call 910-346-8802.