Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

New Visitor Center at Yellowstone National Park opens August 25

August 16, 2010, 12:07 pm

Work Nears Completion On New Visitor Education Center At Old Faithful

More than two years of construction work are drawing to a close on a new Visitor Education Center at Old Faithful.

State-of-the art exhibits are being installed in readiness for a dedication ceremony set to coincide with the 94th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service on August 25.

An outdated visitor center designed and built in the late 1960s was demolished between Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 to make way for the new two-story, 26,000 square foot structure. The new building has been designed to be compatible with the rustic architectural style of the Old Faithful Historic District.

The new building was designed to set new standards for accessibility and for the interpretation of complex scientific information to the public.  It will be one of the first National Park Service visitor centers to achieve Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification awarded by the U. S. Green Building Council.  It achieved the Gold rating by using sustainable elements in building location and construction, water conservation, use of sustainable materials, and indoor air quality.

$15 million of the $27 million cost of design and construction 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. 

The National Park Service is inviting the public to join in the dedication ceremony of the new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, which starts at 11 a.m., on Wednesday, August 25.  

Superintendent Suzanne Lewis is hosting the event, which will feature the park’s Mounted Color Guard, music by the Wyoming National Guard’s 67th Army Band, and remarks by several special guests, with noted Yellowstone historian and author Paul Schullery giving the keynote address. 

Once the doors to the new facility open at the conclusion of the ceremony, visitors can take advantage of refreshments and special programs, as they marvel at the interactive exhibits in the new building including a working model geyser.

Image: NPS