July 21, 2017
Penny Wagner, 360-565-3005
PORT ANGELES, WA: Olympic National Park awarded the construction contract to renovate the Olympic National Park Visitor Center (ONPVC) in Port Angeles beginning September 2017.
The ONPVC renovation project, largely funded through entrance fees, will bring the facility into compliance with the Architectural Barriers Act accessibility standards, improve energy efficiency, comply with current life/safety codes, and improve visitor and employee health and safety. A new exterior restroom facility will also be added between the parking lot and the ONPVC to address increased park visitation.
The contract specifically includes replacement of the heating and ventilation systems; replacement of existing single-pane windows with double-pane windows; electrical, plumbing and seismic upgrades; replacement of light fixtures with efficient LED lighting; renovation of the existing interior restrooms; installation of a fire suppression system; installation of additional insulation; connection to the city sewer system; replacement and repair of exterior concrete sidewalks and ramps; flooring and door replacement; installation of new interior signage; and exterior painting.
“This project will improve energy efficiency, accessibility and safety with upgrades that will also enhance visitor experience,” said Acting Superintendent Lee Taylor. “We plan to have the visitor center fully renovated and open to the public before the 2018 summer season.”
The ONPVC will close to the public at the end of normal business hours on September 5, 2017. Interim facilities will be available to the public the following day, September 6. Two double-wide modular buildings will be located on the front lawn of park headquarters at 600 East Park Avenue to house the temporary visitor center and Wilderness Information Center (WIC). The temporary facilities will include portable toilets, additional parking, and signage along Race Street and Park Avenue.
Contract work will begin September 12 to allow time for removal of exhibits and furnishings from the ONPVC. The contract period is seven months with completion targeted for April 2018. To accomplish the quick construction time frame, the contractor will have exclusive access to the visitor center site including the drives off of Mount Angeles Road, the parking areas, and the lawn down to Park Avenue. The parking lot and trailheads originating at the ONPVC will be closed during construction.
The $3,393,241 contract was awarded to Walker River Construction of Shurz, NV. Walker River plans to use JMG Constructors, LLC of Keyport, WA as a major subcontractor on the project. Other local contractors include Olympic Electric (Port Angeles), Schmitt’s Sheet Metal (Port Angeles), United Testing and Balancing (Port Townsend), and Moon Construction Specialties (Sequim).
The ONPVC, originally named the Pioneer Memorial Museum, was built by several vocational carpentry classes from the local Roosevelt High School. Construction was completed in 1957. There have been several additions to the building but no major upgrades since its construction.
For current road and travel information, visitors should consult the park website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.
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More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.