Contract Awarded for Old Faithful Visitor Education Center
Contact: Al Nash or Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2015
Contact: Christine Weinheimer, 406-586-6303
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2008 08-016
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
Contract Awarded For Old Faithful Visitor Education Center
Groundbreaking for a new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center is set for May 2008.
The construction contract has been awarded to Swank Enterprises, a general contractor with offices in Kalispell and Valier, Montana.
The two-story, 26,000 square foot structure will be built on the site of the small, outdated visitor center which was demolished last summer. A temporary visitor center is in place to serve visitors while construction is underway. The new facility is expected to open to the public by the fall of 2010.
$15 million of the $27 million dollar cost of design and construction was provided by the Yellowstone Park Foundation. Major donations to the Yellowstone Park Foundation for the new building were made by ConocoPhillips, Unilever, the Coca-Cola Foundation, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., the National Science Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.
The new visitor education center will serve 2.6 million on-site visitors every year. It will feature new exhibits and host new programs to help visitors understand and appreciate geysers, hot springs, and other hydrothermal features in Yellowstone. The building will also contain an auditorium, research library, multi-purpose classroom, and educational bookstore.
The building has been designed to be compatible with the rustic architectural style of the Old Faithful Historic District. The National Park Service intends to seek certification of the facility as a high-performance, environmentally friendly “green” building. It has also been designed to set new standards for accessibility and for the interpretation of complex scientific information to the public.
The Yellowstone Park Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1996, 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. More information is available online at www.ypf.org.
CTA Architects Engineers of Billings, Montana, is the project architect. They recently teamed up with Swank Enterprises on Yellowstone’s Canyon Visitor Education Center which was opened to the public in August 2006.
– www.nps.gov/yell –
Producers/Editors note: A publication quality version of the artist’s rendering of the completed structure is available by calling 307-344-2015.
Did You Know?
Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.