Officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are planning a facelift for the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
The work will take place from January 7 - March 31, 2013, and the center will remain open throughout the renovations. However, the natural history museum portion of the visitor center will be closed to the public. Most of the work will happen between 2:00 pm and 11:00 pm.
See a rendering of the planned renovations
The park says the renovations will improve the layout of the main lobby and visitor contact area to better serve the 850,000 thousand visitors that come through the visitor center annually.
Here's how the park describes the renovations:
The new visitor contact area will create a sense of arrival and enhance visitor orientation as visitors are provided park information and directed to interactive exhibits that introduce them to park resources. Along with lighting system improvements, the new visitor information desk and exhibits will be laid out to have more open space allowing for better circulation and overall accessibility. New interactive exhibits in the lobby will focus attention on natural resource challenges like air quality and forest health. In addition, access to the popular natural history exhibits in the existing museum will be improved. Sustainable products will be used in the renovations.