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Plans progressing for Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretive Center

Clifford Jeffery • Jan 17, 2008 at 12:00 AM

The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretive Center will be similar to the Lewis and Clark Center in Nebraska City, Neb. Contributed photo.


DUFFIELD — Construction should begin soon on the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretive Center, Scott County Economic Development Authority Executive Director John Kilgore said.

The center — a building designed as a state park education center — is being adapted for use in Duffield by Spectrum Designs of Roanoke.

Design Minds of Alexandria is assisting with planning exhibits in the building, Kilgore said.

A $2,500 grant from the Virginia Tourism Council is assisting with the establishment of 501c3 status that will allow for further fund raising for the project, said Kilgore.

The interpretive center will overlook the passage that pioneers took through the area as they traveled the trail blazed by Daniel Boone.

The EDA has received $400,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission for construction, as well as $200,000 from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority.

Michael Rakes, project manager from Spectrum, said the building prototype — a National Park Service museum in Nebraska City — will work in Duffield with only minor changes to meet local codes and weather conditions.

The building in Nebraska City offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of other trailblazers. It is the Lewis and Clark Center.

Designed with open spaces for exhibits, the building will highlight the surrounding mountain views with a focal point on Kane Gap.

“Kane Gap was the most practical place Daniel Boone found for crossing the mountain range,” Rakes said.

Geothermal heating and cooling, as well as additional green concepts, are incorporated into the design. The use of stone and heavy timber will complement the facility’s mountaintop setting.

“The challenges for this project will be access,” Rakes said. “We have 170 vertical feet between the access (at Route 58) and the building floor.”

While it is a challenge, it is also an architectural positive.

“It will give you a dramatic entrance to the building,” he said.

Rakes hopes bids can be taken by early summer, and he anticipates a 12-month construction schedule.

Kilgore said the construction should be completed in 2009. The total cost of construction is estimated at $3 million.

Future construction at the site may include a 17,000-square-foot exposition arena.

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