Contact: Alex Patterson, Facility Manager, 360-816-6221
Contact: Tracy Fortmann, Superintendent, 360-816-6205
VANCOUVER, WA: The National Park Service has authorized funding for a project to rehabilitate the existing 5,650 square-foot Visitor Center completed at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in 1962. A national model when it first opened to the public, in more recent years the historic Mission 66-style building has been in need of major upgrades.
This historic rehabilitation will be confined to the existing footprint of the building and will address essential upgrades to protect the health and safety of visitors, improve efficiency of space while improving the appearance of the structure to make it more readily identifiable by the public as a public facility.
The following are some of the critically important changes that will be made through this project:
"The Visitor Center is the central hub of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve," said National Park Service Facility Manager Alex Patterson. "We here at the national park are so pleased to be able to refresh this historic structure. This building will be redesigned to meet the increased visitation demand and better serve the visiting public, while staying within the existing footprint, correcting code violations, and eliminating over a million dollars in deferred maintenance."
The project will be managed by the National Park Service and its Denver Service Center (DSC) office under the guidance of DSC Project Manager Ric Alesch.
"I have worked on numerous high profile NPS construction projects," said Alesch, "and this is an extraordinary one which will make a clear difference to the national park, the historic reserve, and the community. This is a great design-build project that will be open to Service-Disabled Veteran-owned companies for competitive proposals in the next few weeks."
"During these difficult economic times, I am both honored and humbled by this funding support, and I give tremendous credit to National Park Service staff---here locally, as well as in the Denver Service Center and regionally---who have never wavered in their support of this compelling project," said Superintendent Tracy Fortmann. "This rehabilitation will insure that our public spaces—including the theater, exhibit space, and restrooms—are safe, efficient, accessible and adequately sized for the public. We are so fortunate to be able address these much needed improvements. The Visitor Center has great bones, has served the public ably since 1962, and this project will help ensure that it will better serve the many future generations to come!"
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver's role in regional and national development. The Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special events and activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.
Last updated: February 28, 2015