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Contact: Jason Lott, (505) 672-3861 x501
LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO: Superintendent Jason Lott announces that the rehabilitation of the visitor center will begin in mid-September of 2009. “Bandelier received Congressional funding this year to begin the line-item rehabilitation of our National Historic Landmark visitor center,” said Lott. “Funding will enable restroom capacity to be expanded, asbestos to be abated, accessibility issues to be resolved, outdated wiring and security systems to be replaced, fire suppression systems to be installed, and non-historic elements of the building to be removed.”
“We will close the museum on August 17th but the rest of the building will remain open until mid-September,” said Lott. “We have a temporary visitor center arriving on August 17th that is intended to create a seamless transition from the old building to the temporary visitor center. The Main Loop Trail will remain open although access to the trail will be through the picnic area. Temporary restrooms will be provided in the picnic area. The WNPA bookstore and the Bandelier Trading Post will remain open throughout the construction.”
“We are also using fees generated at our entrance station to create new exhibits and a high definition film,” added Lynne Dominy, Bandelier’s Chief of Interpretation. “We have been designing the new exhibits for eight years with the affiliated Pueblos. We also conducted a formative evaluation process enabling local community members and random park visitors to provide input into the exhibit designs. These new exhibits will enable the public to see more of our extensive museum collections and many new things commissioned at the request of the affiliated Pueblos. They will also enable people to better understand Pueblo relationships with this landscape.”
“The new film has been in production for five years,” said Dominy. “It will give visitors a chance to experience Bandelier in every season and at all elevations from the ground and through aerials. It will provide unique perspectives of the entire landscape and close-ups of the diverse species living in the park. We have created it to provide a broad context for every visitor’s experience in the park.”
“This rehabilitation is expected to last at least 9 months,” added Lott. “We are very excited about the new experiences that visitors will be able to have in the rehabilitated visitor center. The bookstore will move out of the lobby into a better space. The new theater will enable the high definition movie to be shown. Ugly non-historic elements will be removed throughout the building to showcase the original architecture of the CCC era visitor center. The new exhibits will help visitors better understand the Pueblo connections to the park and the significance of the cultural resources that they experience on the Main Loop Trail. This entire project is an investment into the protection of the National Historic Landmark visitor center, the quality of the visitor experience, and the interpretation of the Pueblo ties to their ancestral homelands.”
For more information about the visitor center rehabilitation, contact Lynne Dominy at (505) 672-3861 x511 or via email at e-mail us.
Bandelier’s visitor center is open this summer from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days per week until Labor Day. The picnic area, Tsankawi unit near White Rock, and the trails in Frijoles Canyon are open daily from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Juniper Campground and Bandelier’s group campgrounds are open. Bandelier’s entrance fee is $12 per private car with the receipt being valid for 7 days. Golden Eagle, Golden Age, Golden Access, and the Bandelier annual passes are honored for entrance. For more information about Bandelier National Monument, call the visitor center at (505) 672-3861, ext 517 or visit Bandelier’s website at www.nps.gov/band.