National Park Service Awards Contract to Build New Visitor and Research Center at Mesa Verde National Park
Contact: Samantha Richardson , 303-969-2825
Contact: Lindy Allen, 303-969-2588
The National Park Service (NPS) awarded a $12,107,735 contract at Mesa Verde National Park September 9, 2010 to PCL Construction Services, Inc. (PCL) of Edwards, Colorado. PCL will construct the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center.
The Visitor Information Center and the Research/Museum Collection Facility, contracted and managed by the Denver Service Center of the NPS, will be constructed to form a single building – The Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center. The building will implement sustainable design features, high efficiency with an emphasis on alternative energy systems, and include all associated site work/infrastructure and native landscaping. The building has been designed to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Platinum certification. The Visitor Information Center component will consist of orientation exhibits, tour ticket sales, and the non-profit Mesa Verde Museum Association Bookstore. The Research and Museum Collection Facility building will replace the deteriorated temporary buildings and storage facilities with a consolidated, efficient and sustainable facility.
The new building will be located at the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park along Highway 160. Construction is expected to begin soon and be completed by July 2012. The exhibits will then be installed, with the target of opening the new Visitor and Research Center in October 2012.
"We were very pleased with bid results as now the National Park Service can move forward with construction.The project has been in the planning and design stage for a very long time.Soon, we will have a new building which will improve access to and study of more than 3 million artifacts, archives and library collections. In addition, it will provide critical visitor services at the entry to the park," stated Cliff Spencer, Superintendent, Mesa Verde National Park. Deputy Superintendent Bill Nelligan added that the park was pleased and appreciative for the assistance from the Mesa Verde Foundation for land acquisition near the park entrance.
About Mesa Verde National Park: Mesa Verde, Spanish for "green table," offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Puebloan people, who made it their home for over 700 years,from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States. There are over 52,000 square acres of parkland, of which 8,500 acres are designated wilderness. The park was designated a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1978 by UNESCO. The park was established in 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt, to protect the culture and architecture of the Ancestral Puebloan people. It also presents a breathtaking natural landscape of high plateau country in southwestern Colorado.
About the Denver Service Center: The Denver Service Center is located in Lakewood, Colorado and works with parks and regional staff of the NPS to meet their needs for large-scale planning, design, and construction services.
Did You Know?
On a snowy December day in 1888, while ranchers Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason searched Mesa Verde’s canyons for stray cattle, they unexpectedly came upon Cliff Palace for the first time. The following year, the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored an additional 182 cliff dwellings.