Wednesday, April 14, 2010
What Is To Be Done?
The Quarry Visitor Center protects and provides access for the public and the scientific community to some 1,500 dinosaur fossils preserved in-situ in a sandstone layer. The QVC encloses the quarry, which in-turn forms the north wall of the building. Expansive glass walls on all sides allow for ambient lighting of the bones.
The QVC opened to the public in 1958. In 2002, the building was declared a National Historic Landmark due to its significant representation of American Architecture and National Park Service history. However, the facility was closed in 2006 due to challenging subsurface conditions, including expansive clays that caused the building structure to deteriorate.
In 2009 the NPS received funding under the American recovery Act Program (aka the “Stimulus Bill”) to repair and rehab the QVC. The rehabilitation of the facility requires careful protection of those building elements that will be conserved in the course of selective demolition, protection of exposed building components, and the integration of new construction. The project will also include installing micro-piles under the existing structural elements of the Visitor Center, removal / replacement of major structural elements, and monitoring the integrity and safety of the overall structure as the work progresses and portions are demolished and replaced.
The familiar cylindrical building, outside ramps, and administrative wing (formerly housing office, lab, and collections area) will be demolished and will not be rebuilt at this facility. Work will focus on stabilizing and rehabilitating the glass walled structure enclosing the quarry face. Because construction activities will occur above and around the quarry wall, protection of the quarry face from the elements, dust, vandalism, theft, and rodents during construction is of utmost importance. Design is already underway for totally new exhibits for the refurbished QVC.
In addition to the QVC project, work is also underway on the remodeling, enclosing, and expanding of the lower Temporary Visitor Center. The existing facility is composed of several detached masonry structures connected by an open-air, space-frame, roof structure. The remodeled structure will serve as a Visitor Center for the entire park and contain exhibits on the Monument’s rich and diverse resources, paleontological, geological, biological, and cultural.
Pictures of the old buildings and architectural renderings of their new versions are given above. Big-D Construction is the key subcontractor in a teaming arrangement with Advanced Solutions Group for the Dinosaur National Monument project.