PITTSBURGH (Nov. 21, 2016) – Just in time for families traveling with children during the busy holiday season, airport and local officials will conduct a grand opening for the newly renovated Kidsport play and learning area on Tuesday, Nov. 22 along with 25 local elementary students.
Representatives of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh are expected to participate in the event, along with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, that begins at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Airside Terminal, Concourse C. A third grade class from the Ambridge Area School District will attendalong with Christina Marie Moyer, who attended the opening of the original Kidsport in 1983 as a 2-year-old.
The original Kidsport, which opened in March 1983 at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, was the first such play area at an airport in the country. The all-new Kidsport at Pittsburgh International is a colorful, 2,100 square foot space featuring seven new interactive installations that challenge kids of all ages to explore concepts of live video, height comparison, movement and more.
Installations like “Silly Faces” by Amanda Long for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, allow kids to create videos which are uploaded in real time to a rotating video wall. The Carnegie Science Center’s “Dirty Water Fountain” shows bubbles going through a pipe demonstrating the technology needed to convert river water into fresh, drinkable water.
The new Kidsport was prepared and completed by more than 100 airport trades workers including carpenters, painters, electricians, electronics, plumbers, stationary engineers, tile setters, and laborers.
A new mothers’ nursing area with changing table, play equipment including seesaws, kid-sized furniture and new seating for adults has been installed. And, there’s still plenty of room for little ones to burn off energy before boarding their flight on new rubberized flooring and carpeting.
As part of the renovation project, long-time traveler favorites like the Mr. Rogers kiosk just outside of Kidsport have also been updated. New displays have been placed in other parts of the airport – “Skeleton Mirror” in Concourse B, and “Color” in Baggage Claim, and more installations are coming in 2017.
The installations were made possible by a collaborative partnership with the museums and funding from the Richard King Mellon Foundation designed to highlight regional assets and create a better sense of place at the airport, as well as encourage travelers to visit the museums on their travels.
"Bringing more of the region’s rich arts and cultural scene and featuring our regional assets here is important,” said Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis. “Pittsburghers have a lot to be proud of, and we want that to be reflected at the airport. We’re looking at how we can continue to improve that experience and these programs are just the start.”
NOTE: Media is invited to cover the event and should meet at noon at the airport badging office. Media parking is available in the courier lot. Please notify Bob Kerlik.
About Allegheny County Airport Authority:
Allegheny County Airport Authority, which manages Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport, is committed to increasing air service, improving customer service and inspiring growth in the Pittsburgh region.
Pittsburgh International Airport serves more than 8 million passengers annually on 13 carriers. During the past two years, the airport has increased its nonstop destinations 70 percent to include 65 markets. J.D. Power ranked Pittsburgh International in its Top 10 medium-size airports in its 2015 North American Airport Satisfaction Study. Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast both named Pittsburgh International a Top 10 Domestic Airport in 2016. In addition, TripAdvisor ranked Pittsburgh International Airport a Travelers’ Choice Favorite for Shopping in 2016.