Photo Feature: From the Ground Up

Hundreds of individuals, foundations, and corporations contributed to the Yellowstone Park Foundation’s successful $15 million capital campaign to build a new visitor education center at Old Faithful.  After nearly two and a half years of construction, the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center opened to the public on August 25, 2010. It incorporates state-of-the-art educational exhibits and is a model of “green” building practices. The following are some photographs of the construction process, which helped earn it Gold-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

May 2008
May 2008
The demolition of the small visitor facility that used to stand on the building site produced 541 tons of waste, yet more than 99% of it was either salvaged or recycled. Concrete from the old building foundation and surrounding plaza was recycled by crushing it on-site and reusing it as fill material for the new building.  Besides being the best option for the environment, this significantly reduced transportation costs and avoided landfill costs.

 June 2008 
June 2008
Shortly after groundbreaking occurred, the building foundation was laid and perfectly sited within view of Old Faithful Geyser. The Center has a shallow foundation that prevents damage to the underground hydrothermal system of the Upper Geyser Basin. 


September 2008
September 2008
Contractors employed special building techniques necessary for the structure to withstand Yellowstone’s seismic and geothermal activity.
 

  October 2008
October 2008
Recycled steel was used to frame the entire building, and it was locally obtained to reduce both transportation costs and fuel emissions.


January 2009

January 2009
Construction crews worked throughout Yellowstone’s harsh winter.  The temperature during some weeks did not rise above 0°F!  In this photo, the building is starting to take shape, offering visitors a preview of the roofline, designed to echo that of the historic Old Faithful Inn.

 

March 2009
March 2009
In addition to a breathtaking, panoramic view of Old Faithful Geyser and the Upper Geyser Basin, the 26,000-square-foot interior will house innovative, interactive exhibits.  Also, state-of-the-art lighting and climate control systems will reduce energy consumption and provide optimal indoor air quality.


May 2009 
May 2009
The Visitor Education Center received an energy-saving and weatherproof wrapping in Tyvek CommercialWrap®, courtesy of a generous donation from DuPont Building Innovations.


The OFVEC is enclosed and ready for interior work this winter

October 2009... ready for interior work over the winter of 2009/2010.

 

The Yellowstone Park Foundation would like to thank all who generously donated, including the following major capital campaign donors, for making this dream a reality:

ConocoPhillips

National Science Foundation

Shalin Liu

Unilever

Cheng Wu

The Coca-Cola Foundation

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. 

 

Old Faithful Visitor Education Center main entrance

August 2010

Welcome! Before you visit the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, you can get a preview by exploring the exhibits and viewing interactive media at the Old Faithful Virtual Visitor Center.

 
Photographs courtesy of the National Park Service. 

  

 

 

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