Sugarlands Visitors Center in the Smokies to get facelift

Sugarlands Visitors Center in the Smokies to get facelift

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An architect's rendering of the renovations. (Source: National Park Service) An architect's rendering of the renovations. (Source: National Park Service)

GATLINBURG (WATE) - The Sugarlands Visitors Center, which welcomes visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, will undergo renovations beginning this spring.

Park spokeswoman Molly Schoer says the building will remain open while workers perform renovations to improve the main lobby's layout and visitor contact area.

Along with lighting system improvements, the new visitor information desk and exhibits will be laid out to have more open space allowing for better circulation and overall accessibility.

New interactive exhibits in the lobby will focus attention on natural resource challenges like air quality and forest health. In addition, access to the popular natural history exhibits in the existing museum will be improved.

Schoer said sustainable products will be used in the renovations. 

Construction work is slated to begin Jan 7. and will last through Mar. 31.

The work will be concentrated between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. on weekdays. During this time period, the natural history museum portion of the visitor center will be closed to the public. All other services including general information, the park film, and the bookstore will remain available.

The Sugarlands Visitor Center welcomes 850,000 visitors annually.

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