Park construction projects ongoing<br>
Renovation to the historic Ranger Ops building is one of several ongoing projects in the park
“The other end seems to be intact,” he said. “They’ve been able to keep the office area open, though it’s only for employees.”
Housing: Park Service housing at Desert View is completed, with the eight-plex occupied and people moving into the four-plex. At Xanterra’s Desert View housing, the walls are being framed and trusses are up on the six-plex and a single-family residence. Trenching and excavation are ongoing for the two eight-plexes being built by Xanterra on Mojave Street
Ranger Ops: Gabaldon said testing for asbestos slowed the project, but contractors are back on track with interior demolition.
“That’s in progress now,” he said. “They’re removing older materials and once that’s complete, they can start with repairs.”
The project also includes removal of an underground fuel oil tank and retrofitting the building with an updated propane heating system. The building should be back in operation by the end of this year, Gabaldon said.
Maswik and Backcountry Office: Interior demolition is ongoing while backcountry staff operates out of temporary trailers. The project calls for complete remodeling of the interior and an addition on the east side of the building. Gabaldon said it should be done by the end of the year as well.
Desert View Entrance Station and Bus Shelter: Builders are working on the rough framing, interior and metal structure of the entrance station booths and administration building. Masons are also on-site.
“We have masons out of Alaska,” said Gabaldon. “They’ve come quite a distance but these folks came highly recommended for this particular work. We want this to blend in with the other architecture.”
When completed, hopefully in May in time for the summer crowds, the new Entrance Station will be in better alignment to State Route 64.
“People will be able to find their way around Desert View much easier,” he said.
The metal structure for the bus shelter is in place, with lighting and benches yet to be added. That project should be done within a week or so.
Grand Canyon Depot: Gabaldon said underground utilities are complete and interior work on an automatic sprinkler system should be starting soon.
“As they’re working their way into the building, offices for the Grand Canyon Railway and the Science Center Offices will be affected,” he said.
Wastewater Treatment Plant: Upgrades and general maintenance on the treatment plant are ongoing. Gabaldon said a mechanical bar screen is in place and operating, some old tanks in the reclamation building have been removed, soda ash and chemical feed pumps were replaced, improvements were made to the digester and the roof over the building that houses it underwent improvements.
Emergency Services: Staging and site preparation started last week, fencing was gong up and Clinic trailer 1 was moved for logistic reasons. Other trailers will be moved later in the project Gabaldon said. A new emergency services building to house a fire engine and other emergency vehicles, along with additional parking and a service road off Center Road, is expected to be completed by the end of 2004. When it’s finished, EMS will move from the west side of the former NPS maintenance building on Albright Street and Xanterra will occupy those offices.
Black and Silver Bridges: Repairs to the inner Canyon bridges are on hold due to contract negotiations, said Gabaldon.
“We’re waiting for middles to be approved on design,” he said. “They’re supposed to be coloring concrete to blend n with the environment.” Work will also include repairing guy cables. Both the Silver Bridge, which is used by foot traffic and the Black Bridge, used by mules, will be done by tourist season but in the meantime, Gabaldon said work would not impede traffic on either bridge.
Mather Campground: Delays continue on the project to convert a former Park Service residence into an office and administration building. Originally slated to be done last summer, now, said Gabaldon, it could be finished, as will demolition on the existing kiosk, in late spring.
“We’re still waiting for some of the design work to come back,” he said.