2019-2021 American Camp Visitor Center Construction Blog

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In October 2019 San Juan Island National Historical Park broke ground on the construction of the new American Camp Visitor Center. During this project, the American Camp Visitor Center area – including the access road from Cattle Point Road, the visitor center, parking lot, and general area – are closed to all entry. The expected opening of the visitor center is projected for spring 2021.

Update: Site Observation Update Week of March 31st, 2021

April 03, 2021 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Almost ready!

The visitor center construction work is complete. The new park welcome sign has been installed at the entrance, a security barrier around a service panel has been installed, benches are all in place, and final touch-ups are complete. Lastly, well mostly last, is certification of the water as potable and safe to drink will happen next week which will be our signal that it is safe to open the area around the new visitor center to the public – parking lot, picnic

 

Final Update American Camp Visitor Center Project

October 30, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

The history of the American Camp Visitor Center is long and storied. As soon as the park was established in 1966 there had been a modest vision for visitor use that included a permanent visitor center. Over the years the goal remained, and multiple incarnations of management planning reimagined how to serve visitor needs within the confines of the funding provided. But time and again the goal of a permanent visitor center were frustrated by the realities of funding, and prior

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Oct. 6th

October 06, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

With less than 10 days to go before handover, final details are being tended to at the site. Parking striping is about to begin, and safety railings are going up in require areas.  Of course, landscaping continues, and the addition of split rail fencing is adding to the overall visual appeal of the site. Lastly, our flagpole is installed, and in addition to hosting flags serves as both a radio transmitter and receiver allowing much improved radio communications across the sou

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of September 29th

September 29, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

With roughly two weeks to go until handover of the visitor center to the park projects are being completed, final touches are being applied, and landscaping continues. A few minor changes have been approved and completed as we round out the project now set to complete almost exactly one year from its inception. Stay tuned for these final posts as we will look back at the project over these past 12 months.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of September 22nd

September 22, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

As we draw closer to handover from the construction team a construction site has now turned into a visitor center…nearly. Just a few more weeks and the park will receive keys and ownership, along with the charge to care for and put to good use this beautiful facility.

As with prior recent weeks work has focused on final details and cleanup. Asphalt work is complete, and final concrete pours for curbing, as well as the knee wall at the interpretive place are complete. The tra

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of September 15th

September 15, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Wow, about one month away from the handover finishing touches are in full swing. Asphalt has been laid throughout the site, and landscape restoration is underway. Inside, bathrooms are receiving their final fixtures, the bookstore is finished, and entryways are nearly finished. What was once a dream is now revealing itself and the result is more than we had hoped for.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of September 8th

September 15, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

This week’s progress continued to be about preparation for the final set of tasks, and actual completion and refinement of finish work, both inside and out. The site looks very much like building and surroundings nearing completion. Of note this week, the main visitor desk has been completed along with cabinetry, and installation of the ranger worktable in the administrative area. Preparations for new road surface and final concrete pours around the building are well underway

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Sept 1st

September 08, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

We had a nice mix of internal and external work this week as we continue to see things come together in anticipation of a handover next month. Mechanical and electrical installation continues in the services room. We saw the installation of the fire control panel and the electrical panel, as well as the water heater. Preparations at the walking path between the upper site and the entrance road are complete and ready for surface installation while curbs and flatwork pours are

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of August 25th

August 25, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

This week’s activities at the site continue to focus on completing the new access road and preparing curbs and walkways in anticipation of new pavement throughout the site. Additionally, the stone base that accents the building has finally made its appearance as we do touch-up work on the horizontal siding and soffit work and install outdoor fixtures. The concrete pad for services entering the site has been poured and a security screen to conceal the pad will be added. All in

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Aug 11th and Aug 18th

August 26, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

We have two weeks of updates for you, and progress has been significant with several major components of the site complete and nearing completion.

Of note, the new access road from Cattle Point Road continues to be prepared for pavement, and culvert for drainage has been installed. At the end of the old access road, a new cul-de-sac has been prepared and readied for pavement, while the remainder of the old access road pavement, and that in the old parking lot, has been remov

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of August 4th

August 11, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Work this week continued to round out paining and trim work. Additionally, preparations for the new access road and its intersection with Cattle Point Rd is underway with clearing work moving quickly. Soon, we will be laying the foundation for the access road and graveling the redoubt maintenance road entrance from the new lower parking area. Additionally, we now have a small break area for rangers stationed at the visitor center – a small, but welcome addition, 40 years in t

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of July 27th

July 27, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

This week has seen incredible progress in several key areas. We are finishing up the septic drain field with final testing, and installation of additional equipment. Painting and tiling have started, and concrete work is now extending throughout the site. We also saw the installation of cabinetry for the bookstore being installed, and siding work completed in key areas. Its exciting to see so much “finish work” occurring in so many areas as we get closer to our completion dat

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of July 20th

July 27, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

As will be the case moving forward, much of the work is very focused on rounding out work already started. Concrete floor finishing/polishing activities are complete for the interior with a final sealer coat just applied. A clear coat finish is being applied to exterior glue-lams (support beams) with metal end cap flashing installation on high beams. The cedar channel horizontal siding and cedar tongue and groove soffit installation is continuing around the structure and look

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of July 13th

July 21, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

This week sheetrock work installation is continuing, while the already dried sheetrock is being sanded, finished and readied for paint. Additionally, a Solar Tube skylight systems was installed on the roof over restrooms to bring in natural light to complement electric lighting. The septic system control panel was installed for the aerobic treatment system (ATS); a mini water treatment plant, if you will, that works in combination with a leach field to clean wastewater exitin

 

Update: Site Observation Update Weeks of June 29th and July 6th

July 13, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Over the last two weeks, we have seen insulation installed within walls and ceiling cavities, and sheetrock installation ongoing within exhibit space and back office work areas. Roofing has been essentially completed. The trellis post and purlin work for both east and west sections at the interpretive plaza has also been completed, and work has now moved to complete the trellis at the main entrance. Additionally, curtain drains along south and west sides of the septic drain f

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of June 22nd

June 29, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

June 22nd, eight months after beginning the visitor center construction project, and we see in the photos that follow a project growing ever closer to completion.

This week, the concrete plaza slab pours and formwork at the entry are getting closer to completion. Roofing work is now essentially complete. The trellis work (overhead purlin installation) is continuing at the interpretive plaza and is also nearly complete. A major piece of work advanced this week at the site of

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of June 16th

June 22, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

This week’s work has no discernable theme apart from a great deal of focus outdoors. With superb weather, we began work on the septic field, clearing and trenching for leech lines. The concrete pad outside of the main entrance has been poured, trellis work at the interpretive plaza progresses, and raised seam roofing is being installed. As a hoped for September or October completion draws nearer, we see the structure beginning to take on a character of its own. Rangers eagerl

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of June 8th

June 09, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Formwork for the pedestrian walkway connecting Interpretative Plaza with the V.C. • Pref pipe installation for storm water drainage completed for westward extension of rockery wall at lower parking lot; archeologist monitoring earth disturbance in this area • Electrical rough-in work proceeding • Plywood panel installation for board and batten application moved to east and west walls of the V.C.finished on north façade and proceeding to other elevations

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of June 2nd

June 08, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

As progress on the visitor center moves ahead, we will begin to see fewer major milestones being crossed. The reason is simple, we have made tremendous progress, and most major components are now in place. The work now being done is refining the pieces that are in place as we move toward an expected September-October completion date. Great news!

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of May 26th

May 26, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

This week, electrical infrastructure work (conduit, j-boxes, fixtures, etc.) was ongoing within the temperature electrical meter installed west of the site. Installation of storefront windows at the vestibule moved forward while a surveyor was on site to establish grades for pedestrian walkways and curb delineation at the drop off/entry to the building. Excavation, along with archeological monitoring, has been ongoing at the west end entry of American Camp Road. Backfilling o

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of May 19th

May 25, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Focus for the week of May 19th was both internal and external. Outside, utility trenching and services burial made significant headway with a major cable burial along the entrance road. Archaeological monitoring is enabling work to proceed on pace, and with the confidence that work is preserving important historical artifacts that may be found. Trellis work on the front of the structure is nearing completion as the concrete pours for the interpretive plaza continue. Lighting

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of May 5th

May 12, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Work proceeds on schedule. As the ground has dried enough to accommodate, work is proceeding on the rerouted entry road from Cattle Point Drive. Additionally, rough in electrical and plumbing continues, inside and out, while HVAC installation of duct work has begun.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of April 28th

May 05, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

With some fairly good weather, and the addition of an archaeological monitor, we once again extended our work outside. Utilities are beginning to make their way into the site as well, and the structure is being enclosed as windows are installed – doors are next. Colors have been chosen for some parts of the building that remained outstanding, and the interpretive plaza which will be a centerpiece are now taking their final form. Exciting stuff!

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of April 21st

April 30, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

This week weather was at times good, and similarly challenging, but with the option to work under cover and outside, good progress continued. Water Resistant Barrier (WRB) Installation continues on all elevations, while metal flashing work started at window penetrations. Plumbing rough-in work within mechanical and rest room locations has begun as well. Concrete pours for the Interpretative Plaza pathway and reinforced circular depressed slab to support pig sculpture proceed.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of April 14

April 20, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

With great weather, great momentum, and a steady stream of materials and supplies arriving daily, the project continues to come together in impressive ways. While the work this week can’t be described, yet, as “finishing touches”, it reflects the attention to detail that we expect will carry through to a refined finished product. The building’s lines have begun to reveal themselves, and hints at what the interior exhibit space will look like are revealing themselves.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of April 7th

April 14, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Project focus for this week continued to be on framing, sheathing, soffit, facia, and outlooker. As you can see, the building continues to look more and more like a building rather than the project we have termed it thus far. This will continue to be the case as roofing, siding, windows, and internal finishes are installed as a prelude to exhibits, furniture, and the like.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of March 30th

April 09, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Work on the visitor center continues, albeit at a slower pace than normal, and with fewer resources than previously. With the tremendous weather we have been experiencing we have been making great progress with the resources we do have. With those resources focused on the main structure momentum continues to be good.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of March 23rd

March 28, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Work on the project this week has seen some impact from both wet weather, and the developing health emergency declared by Governor Inslee on March 22nd. Project managers from parties involved with the project convened via teleconference to discuss the governor's order and implications of the order for this project.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of March 16th

March 21, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

This week construction is focused on framing interior spaces, and sheathing of the framing that was the primary focus last week.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of March 9th

March 14, 2020 Posted by: Ranger Jeff

Tree work, framing, roof beam installation, and more concrete work highlighted this week's activities.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week Mar 2nd

March 07, 2020 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

This week the building framing continues, and it is exciting to see the building shape come together.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week Feb 24th

February 29, 2020 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

With the arrival of lumber to the site, the building’s wall framing has commenced. In order to prepare for the framing, mudsills were installed on the foundation walls first, so the wall frames have material to anchor to.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Feb 17th

February 22, 2020 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

This week it finally felt like the season was changing with beautiful sunny weather!

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Feb 10th

February 15, 2020 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

The plumbing and electrical infrastructure within the sub-base of building foundation was completed this week so that the installation of rigid insulation, a vapor barrier, and reinforcing steel could be installed for next weeks cement slab pour.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Feb 3rd

February 08, 2020 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

This week, construction work completes sub-base material for the foundation in preparation for the start of laying plumbing and electrical conduit. Foundation and support work for the  trellis and roof canopy have started.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Jan 27th

February 01, 2020 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

Foundation formwork was stripped for insulation installation and gravel fill operations

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Jan 20th

January 25, 2020 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

Due to snowy weather conditions for the week of Jan 13th, concrete pouring for the foundations resumed this week.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Jan 6th

January 11, 2020 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

Work resumed from the holiday break with the stripping of the footing formwork and then delivery and the installation start of the foundation wall formwork.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Dec 16th

December 21, 2019 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

The formwork operations and perimeter footings commenced with the delivery of reinforcing steel, building the footing formwork, and pouring the cement footers. The contractors got a lot of work done this week, just in time for the holiday break to resume construction efforts in the New Year.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Dec 9th

December 14, 2019 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

Once the Visitor Center footprint excavation was completed, a sub-base aggregate was filled for further footprint construction. Excavation efforts continued in the larger construction site area with movement to the lower area parking lot area.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Dec 2nd

December 07, 2020 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

Tree removal activities continue in the areas for the new access road and visitor center location with some trees harvested off island, while others remain for site rehabilitation once construction is done. After the initial “snapped” and survey marking of the visitor center footprint, the excavation proceeded carefully with scraping and removing dirt in 6”-8” intervals to allow for through archeological examination.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Nov 18th

November 23, 2019 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

In order to improve the safety and clarity of the entrance access road off Cattle Point Road intersection the access road to Visitor Center area was moved and realigned. The new realignment moves the intersection approximately 300 feet east, away from the blind turn. In doing so, several trees were removed this week in preparation for that access road construction.

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Nov 11th

November 16, 2019 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

Third blog posting on the construction efforts on the new American Camp Visitor Center

 

Update: Site Observation Update Week of Nov 4th

November 09, 2019 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

Blog post update for second week of American Camp Visitor Center construction

 

Update: Construction of Visitor Center Starts (Oct 28th)

November 01, 2019 Posted by: Anna Mateljak

Start of construction project starts with securing the site to non-construction access

 

Last updated: January 27, 2020

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