GERING, Neb. After eight years of planning, the Scotts Bluff National Monument Visitor’s Center will finally begin its construction. A groundbreaking ceremony was arranged for this purpose.
A new sign was unveiled signifying the centennial making its way to the Scotts Bluff National Monument in year 2019. With this celebratory groundbreaking, it congratulated the monument on its 99th birthday.
After receiving numerous bids, they decided to go with Rangel Construction Company, LLC based out of Rapid City, South Dakota. They were chosen because they have prior experience working with historic buildings.
For this construction project, within the Visitor’s Center, they will remove all of the steps and stairs, add fire suppression, rewire the entire building, add 3,000 square feet for the new entrance with a curatorial and multi-purpose room.
The estimated cost of this project will be about $3.2 million. It will give the Visitor’s Center the upgrade it has been looking for.
“The current exhibits were put in 1960 and 1961 and they have been here ever since,” said Dan Morford, Superintendent.
With all of the construction, the Scotts Bluff National Monument will continue to be open daily from sunrise to sunset with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day. You can still take your daily walk or run on Saddle Rock and Summit Road but the new entrance will be on the west side of the Visitor’s Center.
“Other than just the view of the construction fence and a little bit of noise here and there, I think people can still come out and enjoy a beautiful walk and enjoy our scenery here in Western Nebraska,” explained Morford.
The exhibits and displays will be placed in the trailer at the entrance of the Scotts Bluff National Monument. This construction project is expected to take between nine to twelve months.
The construction project is set to begin within the second week of January. The Scotts Bluff National Monument will update all information on their website.