Grants Pass construction firm picked to renovate Crater Lake visitor center

The National Park Service chose Ausland Group to conduct an $8 million renovation of the Steel Visitor Center at Crater Lake National Park.

Posted: Jul 28, 2021 12:47 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2021 12:06 PM

CRATER LAKE, Ore. — A Grants Pass-based construction firm has been picked to renovate the historic Steel Visitor Center at Crater Lake National Park, an $8 million project that enters its preliminary stages tomorrow.

Ausland Group said that representatives from the National Park Service were flying into Medford on Wednesday for a pre-construction meeting at the park. The project is set to include rehabilitation of the existing structure, updates of all systems, structural strengthening, and preservation of the building's "cultural history."

"Ausland’s local team of engineers and builders has one of the best resumes for historic restoration projects in the Pacific Northwest and are extremely proud to be selected to perform this landmark project," said company president Kelsy Ausland.

The project is supposed to preserve and restore the integrity of the existing building. The Steel Vsitor Center's exterior walls are built of massive, locally-sourced stacked stones, but the original building does not have the strength to withstand a major earthquake. Ausland said that it will reinforce the walls by core drilling vertical rods into the stones that will connect to new concrete foundations.

Ausland said its Rogue Valley-based crews of carpenters and laborers will do the majority of the construction, with help from other local subcontractors and suppliers.

The company most recently worked to transform the old Medford Toys 'R' Us building into the new Market of Choice location, and is still in the process of restoring the Chateau at the Oregon Caves National Monument.

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