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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ground Broke for Twin Creeks Science and Education Center

A groundbreaking ceremony was held today for the construction of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s new science laboratory and education facility. The ceremony for the new Twin Creeks Science and Education Center was held on the building site located off Cherokee Orchard Road at the Twin Creeks Natural Resources Center, just south of Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The public was invited to hear officials speak from the National Park Service, City of Gatlinburg, Friends of the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains Association, and Lord, Aeck & Sargent Architecture Firm from Atlanta, Ga., about the center, its planned use, and the innovative design strategies that will make this a model facility. Congressional representatives were also present.

The new 15,000-square-foot facility features a number of environmentally sustainable design attributes. The center is the first major new building constructed in the Park since the 1960s and will give Park staff the capacity to strengthen its natural resource management capabilities while serving as a model facility for innovative “green” technology.

Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson said that “The long-planned center will allow us to more efficiently manage our research, science and monitoring activities, which have grown significantly over the years. The center will also become the focal point of the world’s first All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory; a project to identify the Park’s estimated 100,000 species of living organisms. The inventory, in itself, is a huge undertaking which brings hundreds of researchers each year from all over the world to the Smokies.” The ability to share the Park’s scientific information and work with students and teachers of neighboring communities through an array of educational opportunities at the center is a hallmark component.

You can read more about the new "Twin Creeks Science and Education Center" here.

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