Fort Donelson Visitor Center to Undergo Accessibility and Sustainability Rehabilitation

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Date: April 6, 2015
Contact: Brian K. McCutchen, (931)232-5348


DOVER, TENN -- Fort Donelson National Battlefield Superintendent Brian McCutchen announced progress on a significant renovation project to improve the accessibility, sustainability and safety of the park's visitor center. The project will cost more than $900,000. Closure of the facility and the beginning of onsite work is expected to begin late this spring and be completed by early 2016. "This is a vital renovation that is long overdue," McCutchen said. "The visitor center was built in the early 1960s and has many legacy accessibility and safety issues that must be addressed to bring it into compliance with today's standards." McCutchen indicated that three of primary concerns being addressed are the lack of adequate accessibility for those in need of mobility assistance to the building's three levels;lack of emergency exits on multiple floors;and lack of restroom facilities that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). Other concerns include inefficient HVAC systems and a decaying and inefficient roofing system. Funding was not available to replace the 53-year old building with a new facility, so the park requested funds from a special source designated specifically for accessibility, safety, and sustainability needs. In 2014, the park received the funding to address the building's most significant needs. In late 2014, a design/build contract was awarded to KHDM Construction, LLC, a contractor with extensive experience in national park infrastructure improvements.

The contract includes:

Installing an elevator addition to safely provide access to multiple levels

Constructing a restroom on the building's main floor, and retrofitting lower level restrooms and offices to make them ADA compliant 

 Installing ADA/ABA compliant motorized doors 

Providing emergency egress for the theater, museum and basement levels

 Installing fire suppression and sprinkler systems 

 Installing an improved radon monitoring and removal system

 Analyzing and removing Asbestos containing materials

 Installing a new, insulated roofing system

 Building a bookstore with adjacent office on the main level

 Installing a central, zoned, energy efficient HVAC system

 Installing new electrical, networking and alarm infrastructure 

According to McCutchen, Stewart County Mayor Rick Joiner offered space in a portion of the county's visitor center to serve as the park's temporary visitor greeting area while the park's Fort Donelson Visitor Center is being renovated. "We have a wonderful relationship with the county and appreciate their offer of assistance," McCutchen said. "This is a great opportunity for the county, in order to expose park visitors from across the nation, and in many cases, the world, to additional information and exhibits about Stewart County and surrounding area."

McCutchen sees this vital project as a significant step forward in analyzing the battlefield's infrastructure for ADA/ABA accessibility and safety in the areas of parking, access to resources, and in providing for greater visitor experiences on the national park. "We have several areas on the battlefield to improve for access, and we are eager to work with partners in analyzing other critical needs and mutually working toward solutions. "When the renovation is completed, the park's visitor center will be an accessible, safer, and more sustainable facility that meets the expectations of today's visitors," McCutchen said. "National park visitors expect to have access to facilities that meet their needs and bring wonderful memories. It is our intention that the renovated visitor center meets those expectations."

Contacts: Brian K. McCutchen, brian_mccutchen@nps.gov 

Fort Donelson National Battlefield Dover, TN 37058 931-232-5706, Visitor Center/931-232-5348, Administration

www.nps.gov/fodo 

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior



Last updated: April 14, 2015

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