After years of anticipation and planning, expansion of the current Nature Center at Steele Creek Park is about to become a reality! On April 5th, the Bristol Tennessee City Council gave final approval to Burwil Construction Company’s bid for the initial building project. When completed, the new Nature Center will have more than double the floor space of the current facility.
The expansion will occur in two phases. In the initial phase, an entirely new wing will be constructed on the southwest end of the existing Nature Center. This new area will include impressive views of the lake and knobs, greatly expanded exhibit space, and a large multipurpose classroom/meeting room. Phase two, which will be done largely in-house by City employees, will involve renovation of the existing facility to include additional exhibit space, a small library, work areas for staff and visiting researchers, a dedicated “Friends” area, and storage. The entire facility will be accessible, with ground level entries on both the front and back of the building, and an elevator serving the two floors.
Although construction costs have been approved by City Council (thanks in large part to the $2 park vehicle entry fee), our Friends organization will be responsible for raising all of the funds for new exhibits and furnishings. We hope to create an exciting educational exhibit area that is second to none in the region.
In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out a major fundraising campaign to assure that these dreams become a reality. We hope you’ll join with us in spreading this exciting news!