Discover Life in America

Facilities Planning Report

     Chris Stein, Karen Ballentine, Chuck Parker, Don DeFoe, Mike Jenkins, 
     Ken Voorhis, Oliver Flint, Will Reeves, Ed Pivoren, Marilyn Roosinck, 
     Robert Keller, Jan Reid, Daniel Noon, Wayne Gall, Cheryl Bright.
     This group discussed the plans for two facilities in the Park that are 
     of immediate interest to the ATBI in the Smokies.  One is for a new 
     science facility to be situated at Twin Creeks, and the other is for a 
     science and education center at a site known as Purchase Knob.  
     Present thinking in Park management is to include dormitory facilities 
     as well as laboratory spaces, collection facilities, computer links, 
     rearing facilities, and so on.  The group was asked to suggest 
     features that should be included at each site.
     TWIN CREEKS:  What do we need to make this a world class facility in a 
     national park?
      1. Quality sorting facility
      2. State of the art collection storage (short and long term) 
      3. Areas for microscopy
      4. Dorm space/singles & couples (20-40 people) 
      5. Library/taxonomic literature
      6. Lab facilities for on-site rearing 
      7. Drying facility (for plants/fungi) 
      8. HazMat storage with fire suppression 
      9. Compliance with ADA
     10. Computer access/ether net wired
     11. LARGE, comfortable meeting space for educational purposes          
            (multi-purpose room)
     12. Utility rooms for various functions like soil sampling 
     13. Dining facilities/ communal kitchen
     14. Storage rooms
     15. Exposed utilities easily repaired
     16. NIH approved facility (for live animals) 
     17. Climate controlled
     18. Meets all NPS requirements
     19. Parking facilities
     20. Wet lab
     21. Molecular biology equipment (NIH surplus equipment) 
     22. Floor bearing strength considerations
     23. Telecommunications capability
     PURCHASE KNOB:  What facility needs exist for integrating science and 
     education at Purchase Knob?
      1. Keep in mind fragility of site 
      2. Hands-on collection area (small scale) 
      3. Road improvement
      4. Laboratory facilities/sorting (smaller scale than Twin Creeks) 
      5. Computer access
      6. World-class residential facility for researchers and students      
              (needs to be designed to blend in)
      7. Dining facilities (critical)
      8. Gathering space
      9. Multi-purpose sleeping facilities (bunk space)
     10. Fully equipped teaching laboratory 
     11. Research green house/rearing room
     12. Keep in mind-Not just ATBI-need a flexible facility e.g. acid      
     13. Staff housing 
     14. Bear proof
     15. Consider camping site
     16. Pavilion-open-air, covered structure (electrical options)
     The group also considered that immediate needs exist in order for the 
     ATBI to function come March 1st, and the long delays that are inherent 
     in the construction of new facilities at Twin Creeks and Purchase Knob 
     cannot meet those needs.  Therefore, the group suggested a number of 
     options to be considered by GRSM and DLIA.
     Concern for the need to start ATBI research NOW
      1. Need to conduct resource inventory for Purchase Knob to determine  
              what can be built there.
      2. Conduct internal NPS survey at GRSM to determine if housing for    
         researchers exists.  By Mar. 1
      3. Tremont will make "availability date" list to potentially house    
              researchers at Tremont.  Will explore options for limited lab 
      4. DLIA needs to address interim needs for researcher housing/lab     
              facilities until Twin Creeks and Purchase Knob happen.
         a. buy a motel outside the park for researchers 
         b. temporary housing units at Cades Cove
              (GRSM determines what is possible, DLIA determines how to     
         c. explore possibility of using Oconaluftee JCC 
         d. explore reopening the 20-Mile facility
         e. consider helping to build dorm facilities at Tremont
         f. consider reserving campsites for researchers - set aside one or 
              a few sites at the front country campsites for use by DLIA    
         g. rental houses near all areas of park (as in 3-bedroom in        
              Townsend, Mike Miller)
         h. look at dormitory facilities at nearby universities - For       
              instance, would Western Carolina University be willing to put 
              up DLIA researchers during the summer when enrollment is      
      5. Utilize laboratory facilities at nearby universities
      6. Explore possibility of ATBI researchers using hog hunter camps on  
              the AT
      7. Hire an NHA/Friends funded science/ed. Position at Tremont (to be  
              used throughout the park, but could assist in setting up lab  
              space, etc. at Tremont)-PILOT program
      1. Begin to get the word out about facility plans/needs.  Show        
              appropriate people existing resources.
      2. Identify cost to get architect/engineer to conceptualize 
      3. Develop a design competition with firms and universities
      4. Need planning money
      5. Start with core facility and expand as the need arises
      6. Consider phasing a project-start with residential and build out    
              (have overall design pan at the onset)  Start with housing    
              and a core facility.
      7. Look at existing facilities and see if we can use their design     
              (plans) to meet our needs.  Examples include Itasca, Mt.      
              Lake, Rocky Mt. Biological Station, Andrews Forest
      8. Have LAB RATS or a facilities committee go to various sites to     
              scope out the possibilities-need travel funds
      9. Need foundation and grant money for graduate/undergraduate         
              research endowments.

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