Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

New Old Faithful Visitor Center Opens August 25

August 24, 2010, 2:29 pm

Public Invited to Dedication Ceremony and Grand Opening at new Old Faithful Visitor Center

The National Park Service is inviting the public to come to Yellowstone on Wednesday, August 25, for the dedication ceremony and grand opening of the new Visitor Education Center at Old Faithful. Superintendent Suzanne Lewis is hosting Wednesday’s dedication ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m. in front of the new Visitor Education Ceremony near Old Faithful Geyser.

Two of the park’s new Yellow Buses will provide free shuttle service before and after the ceremony between the many parking lots in the area and the new Visitor Education Center.

Noted Yellowstone historian and author Paul Schullery will give Wednesday’s keynote address. Tom Strickland, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks; Jon Jarvis, the Director of the National Park Service; and Bannus Hudson, the Chairman of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, will also offer remarks during the dedication ceremony.

The event will open with music from the Wyoming National Guard’s 67th Army Band, and the presentation of the colors by the Yellowstone National Park Mounted Color Guard.

Once the doors to the new facility open at the conclusion of the ceremony, visitors can enjoy refreshments and special programs, and get a first glimpse of the interactive exhibits, including a working model geyser.

The new building was designed to set new standards for accessibility and for the interpretation of complex scientific information to the public. It is one of the first National Park Service visitor centers to achieve Gold LEED certification from the U. S. Green Building Council in recognition of its sustainable construction and operational standards.

$15 million of the $27 million cost of design and construction of the new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center was provided by the nonprofit Yellowstone Park Foundation, the official fundraising partner of Yellowstone National Park. More than 400 individuals, foundations, and corporations made contributions to the Yellowstone Park Foundation for the project, ranging from two dollars to three million dollars.

Those unable to attend the ceremony in person will be able to watch the ceremony live on the Old Faithful streaming webcam. At the conclusion of the ceremony, viewers will see the premiere of a video podcast tour of the inside of the new Visitor Education Center. Later in the afternoon, Ranger George Heinz will host a series of live programs from Geyser Hill. All these programs are made possible by generous contributions of equipment and technology from Canon U.S.A., Inc. to the Yellowstone Park Foundation.

Photo: Artist's rendering of the new visitor center. CTA Architects Engineers of Billings, Montana, is the project architect.