Yellowstone Park Foundation Donates $15 Million for Old Faithful Visitor Center
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012
The Yellowstone Park Foundation today donated $15 million for construction of a new visitor center at Old Faithful.
A symbolic oversized check was presented to Superintendent Suzanne Lewis this afternoon by Foundation Board President Jane Lerner and Executive Director Michael Cary. The money was raised as part of a capital campaign which began in 2000.
Construction will begin later this summer on a new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. The existing small, outdated facility will be torn down and replaced with a new two-story, 33,000 square foot structure compatible with the rustic architectural style of the Old Faithful Historic District.
The new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center will tell the fascinating story of Yellowstone’s hydrothermal wonders. It will feature new exhibits and host new programs to help visitors understand and appreciate the geysers, hot springs, and other hydrothermal features in Yellowstone. The building will also contain an auditorium, classroom, research library, educational bookstore and backcountry office.
The new visitor and education center will serve 2.6 million on-site visitors every year. Its design will set standards for sustainability, accessibility, and interpretation of complex scientific information to the public.
Total cost of the project is approximately $26 million. The new facility is expected to open to the public in the fall of 2008. A temporary visitor center will be set up next to the site to serve visitors while construction is underway.
The Yellowstone Park Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1996, and based in Bozeman, Montana. The Foundation’s mission is to work in cooperation with the National Park Service to fund projects that protect, preserve and enhance the natural and cultural resources and the visitor experience of Yellowstone National Park. It is a non-advocacy group; the Foundation does not take positions on policy issues.
Did You Know?
The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.