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Lake Norman State Park to unveil first visitor center

Jarid Church, the acting park superintendent for Lake Norman State Park, with an information table inside the lobby of the new Lake Norman State Park Visitor Center on Monday. Officials will dedicate the $4.3 million, 11,000-square-foot visitor center on April 23.
Jarid Church, the acting park superintendent for Lake Norman State Park, with an information table inside the lobby of the new Lake Norman State Park Visitor Center on Monday. Officials will dedicate the $4.3 million, 11,000-square-foot visitor center on April 23. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Lake Norman State Park in Troutman will dedicate its $4.3 million, 11,000-square-foot Visitor Center on April 23.

The center – the park’s first – is designed to educate the public about the environment and local natural resources, said Don Reuter, assistant director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

Classrooms, a multipurpose room and an auditorium will be available to school and other groups, along with spacious restrooms.

The lobby will display exhibits about the park, Lake Norman and local wildlife and aquatic life.

The center also will house Lake Norman State Park staff and N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation West District staff.

“It’s amazing,” acting park Supt. Jarid Church said of the building. “We’ve never had anything like that before.”

Park officials will pay tribute at the dedication to Casey Rhinehart Jr., the park’s superintendent who died at age 48 on Feb. 25 at Gordon Hospice House in Statesville, after a two-year battle with colon cancer.

The center is at the first parking lot after the main entrance on State Park Road.

The Division of Parks and Recreation anticipates receiving LEED Gold Certification for the project, Reuter said. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program.

One green feature is a roof insulated with plastic foam to help keep the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter, Reuter said.

Marusak: 704-358-5067;

Twitter: @jmarusak

April 23 dedication

To attend the 10 a.m. ceremony, RSVP Lake Norman State Park at 704-528-6350 or lake.norman@ncparks.gov.

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