Extensive renovation eyed for Grand Mesa Visitor Center

The Grand Mesa Visitor Center, now 17 years old, is due for a top-to-bottom remodeling next summer.

Exactly how much work gets done depends on when the needed dollars are shaken loose from the federal budget and how bids come in, said Connie Clementson, Grand Valley district ranger.

The center needs a new roof and a new septic system, Clementson said. The roof is wearing out, and the septic system is seeing more use than anticipated when the visitor center restrooms were built in 1993, she said.

Officials hope to heat the building with a geoexchange system, but that depends on the amount of money that would be available, Clementson said.

The roof, however, needs to be shored up against the snow, windows made more efficient and the porch rebuilt with more sustainable materials, she said.

In all, the visitor center will be made “a little more green,” she said.

In all, the project is estimated to cost a little more than $600,000, she said.

Work on the center will begin once the snow clears and will require that it be closed to the public for construction, she said.

Officials haven’t settled on a temporary replacement but are considering a temporary center at Mesa Top trailhead, which is off Colorado Highway 65 near the Mesa-Delta county line.

“Mesa Top has some nice restrooms available, a new trailhead and great parking for RVs,” she said. “It might be a very temporary location for a visitors center.”

Officials hope to complete the job next summer, she said, adding, “It’s all contingent on Mother Nature cooperating.”


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