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Crater Lake National Park Announces Preliminary Plans For First Official Visitor Center

Though Crater Lake National Park is one of the oldest in the country, it has never had an official, year-round visitor center. After decades of debate, park officials say they have plans to make the center a reality.

The Herald and News reports that the most recent proposal calls for a 9,500-square foot, two-story building near the Rim Village Cafe. The design will be the similar to the cafe's 1920s historic style. The building will include an auditorium, interactive exhibits and displays, and a winter viewing area.

The new center is estimated to cost around $5.5 million, which the park plans to raise through increasing entrance fees, fundraising and corporate sponsorship.

Park superintendent Craig Ackerman said in an interview with the newspaper that presently 95 percent of visitors already go to Rim Village. Having the new visitor center nearby would inform people of other places to check out around the park.

“By giving visitors information on other places in the park to see and visit, we wouldn’t have the massive number of people hanging around Rim Village,” Ackerman told the paper.

The park has considered updating other locations to accommodate visitors looking for more information, like the Steel Center and the Sinnott Memorial Overlook, but both had structural and accessibility limitations.

Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting