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Fort Clatsop Visitor Center to get renovation

The Visitor Center at Fort Clatsop was built in 1963 and is proposed for a major renovation. (Courtesy Fort Clatsop)
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park is preparing an Environmental Assessment to analyze the impacts from a proposed improvement project at the Fort Clatsop Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center at Lewis and Clark National Park was constructed in 1963 as part of the National Park Service’s “Mission 66” initiative and underwent a major expansion and renovation in 1991.

Numerous safety and accessibility issues have developed that need to be corrected, park officials said, and energy efficiency in its operation also needs improvement.

The Fort Clatsop Visitor Center welcomed 200,000 visitors in 2018.

The Park is looking at improving the visitor experience and the building in the following areas:

** Renovating the existing restrooms, including a new family restroom area.

** Expanding the enclosed entryway to improve visitor orientation and correct accessibility issues.

** Upgrading the energy efficiency of the building by replacing outdated heating and cooling systems, replacing light fixtures, improving the building’s insulation, and replacing some windows.

** Improving safety with fire sprinkler changes and modernized exits.

** Increasing the storage capacity of the curator’s storage room.

** Creating a space for groups to gather outside.

The project has the potential to cause short-term impacts to visitors. Portions of the Visitor Center could be closed to visitors and staff for up to 6 months.

The park is considering bringing in trailers to serve as a temporary visitor center and office space. A tanked trailer restroom system will be used to provide accessible restrooms during construction.

Ranger programs at the fort site and access to the fort are not expected to be impacted.

After an in-depth look at the project, an Environmental Assessment will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

It will provide an analysis of alternatives to meet project objectives, evaluate issues and impacts to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park’s resources and values, and identify ways to minimize the impacts.

Public comments are welcome until March 15 at the following website: parkplanning.nps.gov/FortClatsopVCScoping or in a letter to Superintendent, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Attention: Visitor Center Improvements, 92343 Fort Clatsop Road, Astoria, Oregon 97103.

Comments will be considered during preparation of the Environmental Assessment.


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