New visitors center, museum to open soon at Cliffs of Neuse
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on March 21, 2011 1:46 PM
Alex Hunter puts up displays at the new visitors center and museum at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park. The center will open in the next couple of months.
SEVEN SPRINGS --The new visitors center and museum at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is nearing completion and should open within the next couple of months.
Cliffs park superintendent Daniel Schewlakow said the building is in the final stages of completion. That means putting finishing touches on old and new exhibits, installing phones and Internet and making sure everything is ready for visitors to enjoy.
"There is no exact date yet as to when it will open to the general public," Schewlakow said. "The completion date has changed as the project has gone through various stages. To change the way some of the exhibits look added time to the project, as did other things."
The new building is a lot bigger than the old one.
"It's set up to allow groups to be able to wander through the museum by themselves," Schewlakow said. "Then we also have staff there as well, who will be able to go into the exhibits and answer questions."
The new facility will also allow park rangers to do a lot more programs, especially in inclement weather. It houses a classroom and auditorium for science-type programs and Powerpoint presentations about the park and its wildlife.
There is also a cultural hall with a timeline of this area.
In addition to exhibits and a classroom, the new building will house the park office and the east district office.
There will be plenty of green restrooms, which will be environmentally friendly, Schewlakow said.
"We're hoping to finish the building in the next month or so and then have a dedication ceremony after that," he said. "We will invite individuals and organizations from the community to be part of that dedication."
After the dedication, the park staff will work on ways to get the public into the building with specialized programs and classes.