REEDSPORT — Construction is under way on an expansion to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area Visitor's Center, a project which will allow additional personnel to be housed in the building.
The Oregon Dunes Recreation Area Visitor's Center property will receive a full overhaul, with the present space, the roof, and parking lot all…
According to Jonathan Wright, city manager of Reedsport, the expansion will add approximately 2,800 square feet to the building. The city is also planning a complete overhaul of the property; on top of the expansion, there are plans to renovate the existing interior, the roof, as well as redoing the parking lot. Deputy Ranger Garrit Craig said the additional space would allow them to add a conference room as well as expanding the kitchen and adding ADA upgrades to the restrooms.
"It will all be pretty much brand new for them by the time it's done," Wright said.
Craig said the building would be more of the Forest Service's offices than a visitor's center once the work is done; they will, however, continue to provide information about the area along with other visitor center functions after the construction.
The Visitor's Center will remain open and continue normal operations for the entire construction process. Wright said they have a phasing plan in place where the Forest Service will move to the back portion, once it's complete, while renovations are done on the front of the building. Craig noted they expect to move to the back sometime in October or November and added they will have a customer service desk set up.
Along with the expansion, the Forest Service also renewed its lease of the building for a 15-year term. Craig said the Forest Service has leased the building from the City of Reedsport since the 1970s and recalled it hasn't changed much in that time. She said the new expansion and renovation will give them more space as well as helping improve efficiency.
"There's a lot of things that need to be done," Craig said.
According to Wright, as of late July the expansion and renovations have cost approximately $1.4 million; this covered blueprints and planning renovations, as well as construction and maintenance around the property.