Rehabilitate Elk Creek Visitor Center to Address Visitor Safety/Accessibility and Operational Issues
The National Park Service proposes to rehabilitate the Elk Creek visitor center at Curecanti National Recreation Area. The visitor center is a component of the Elk Creek development that includes campgrounds with comfort stations and an amphitheater, a maintenance area, a residential area, and marina. The Elk Creek development was designed and built from 1962 to 1973 as part of the NPS's Mission 66 Program and the visitor center, which was designed by Cecil Doty, was constructed in 1968.
The proposed rehabilitation would provide better access for visitors and park staff, address long overdue deferred maintenance, and reduce building operating costs by addressing the following:
• The upper level men's and women's restrooms do not meet Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standard (ABAAS) standards, and their finishes are worn and failing, including plumbing fixtures.
• The lower level kitchen area is also not accessible and requires reconfiguration so that all staff may use the sink and countertops.
• The building's upper level is divided into spaces that are a poor match for the needs of visitors and park staff. In the visitor contact space, the park has erected temporary plywood walls to divide the space and accommodate the necessary park functions. Desks and storage are crowded into the theater area. Office spaces do not meet the park's need for flexibility, especially during the busy summer season. Interior wall relocation would allow the park to make better use of internal space for both visitors and staff.
• Across the building, carpet is worn and frayed, and vinyl tile is beyond its useful life. The storage loft staircase is not code compliant, and the steep and narrow step poses a safety hazard. The stairway and the loft floor require strengthening so that the space can be safely used for storage of non-secure archived records that are accessed periodically, and other safety improvements.
• The existing windows are a large source of energy loss during cold weather. Frames require re-sealing to reduce air intrusion.
• The heating and cooling systems are at the end of their expected life span, do not always keep the building at a comfortable temperature, and are less efficient than models available today.
• The duct work leaks air, and is not configured optimally for the space. State of the art building controls would help ensure occupant comfort while saving energy.
• The existing building light fixtures have reached the end of their expected life and require a greater amount of electricity than currently available fixtures.
• The building is not currently protected by a fire suppression system, and NPS policy states that a building of this size should have a suppression system to protect life and property. The building also requires a fire detector and visual/audio alarm system.
• Roof tile is at the end of its useful life and flashing around roof vent penetrations has deteriorated.
• Floor drains in the upper level deck have deteriorated, and allow water intrusion into decking materials, contributing to degradation of the deck itself.
• The concrete area in the courtyard and sidewalks outside the lower level entrance to the building has buckled in places and pose a trip hazard.
Bruce Noble, Superintendent