National Park Service seeking comments on construction of new Science and Resource Management Facility within Grand Canyon National Park
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779
Contact: Denice Swanke, 928-774-2407
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - The National Park Service (NPS) is now accepting public comments on the construction of a new Science and Resource Management Facility within Grand Canyon National Park. The NPS proposes to design and construct a facility for use by the Division of Science and Resource Management (SRM). In addition to providing necessary office and storage space, the SRM building will invite visiting scientists, students, and others to utilize classrooms and laboratories, offer training sessions, and have some exhibits and opportunities for experiential learning. This cutting edge facility will utilize alternative energy sources and water conservation technology.
Three sites for a building location may be analyzed:
1) Across from Ranger Operations building, adjacent to U. S. Magistrate’s Office
2) Location of old service station across from NPS Headquarters
3) Existing maintenance compound
Design criteria for new building and site selection includes these needs:
•Garage bays for supplies and for overnight parking of boats for river trips.
•Storage space requirements.
•Accommodate all employees currently housed in SRM Offices located in the McKee, Dutton, and Powell buildings on the South Rim.
•LEED certified – LEED is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, a third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
For the past five years, SRM staff has been working out of three buildings, two of which are warehouse and shop buildings vacated by the Facilities Maintenance Division. One of these buildings needs extensive roof repair or replacement, as well as replacement of the heating system and boiler; neither of these buildings functions well for the office and operational needs of the SRM staff.
The NPS encourages public participation through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process during which the public has two opportunities to formally comment on the project – once during initial project scoping and again following release of an the Environmental Assessment (EA). The NPS is currently in the scoping phase of this project and invites the public to submit their comments.
Current information about this project can be found on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grca or by contacting Denice Swanke, Project Planning Leader, at (928) 774-2407. Comments will be accepted for 30 days and should be either posted at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grcaor mailed to: Office of Planning and Compliance, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 by May 6, 2009. The park expects to prepare an EA this summer, with a decision document for this project anticipated in December, 2009.