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Lake Norman State Park to dedicate new visitor center, related facilities Thursday

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Pat McCrory, Governor
Donald R. Van Der Vaart, Secretary
Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lake Norman State Park to dedicate new visitor center, related facilities Thursday

Raleigh -- State officials this week will be at Lake Norman State Park in Iredell County to dedicate a new, 11,000-square-foot visitor center and district office designed to national green building standards.

The public ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday will celebrate an important milestone in the history of the state park and will also be a tribute to the late Casey Rhinehart Jr., who guided the development of the park as superintendent for 11 years. Rhinehart died Feb. 25 at age 48 of colon cancer.

“Beyond being a gateway to Lake Norman State Park for more than a half million visitors each year, this visitor center will be a gathering place for the community and a place for learning about the natural and cultural resources in the region,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director. “And it will exemplify our mission of stewardship with cutting-edge, sustainable building features.”

The state parks system has increased its commitment to sustainability by seeking certification for all large projects by the national Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program of the U.S. Green Building Council. A few of the features at the Lake Norman State Park visitor center that will contribute to certification include active and passive solar energy systems, geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, natural lighting, water-saving fixtures and natural landscaping.

Similar to visitor centers built at 22 state parks and state recreation areas since 1994, the Lake Norman facility offers a unique design styled to its lakeside setting and features interior and exterior exhibits, a teaching auditorium and classroom along with administrative offices. Improvements have also been made to adjacent facilities at Lake Norman State Park. People will be able to access a paved exhibits trail leading to lake viewing platforms and renovated picnic shelters and picnic grounds. Museum-quality exhibits explore the history, wildlife and biology of the lake area.

The new structure was designed by Architectural Design Studio, PA, of Asheville, and the general contractor was Southern Constructors Inc. of Mooresville. Lake Norman State Park is at 759 State Park Road, Troutman.