Department of General Services
Architecture, Civil Engineering
The Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative, Dark Skies Program, and Elk Viewing & Habitat Preservation were all programs developed under Governor Rendell to draw visitors and stimulate the economy of the rural, undeveloped North Central region of Pennsylvania. The Sinnemahoning State Park Visitor Facility was one of the first projects created under these initiatives and serves as a launching point for visitors exploring the region.
Located in Cameron County, the new visitor facility is a 9,300 sf, single story structure that includes a new park office, interpretive exhibit space, artisan gallery, classroom and meeting space, and an elk viewing area.
The site was designed to use the natural features to highlight the building while minimizing disturbance in the project area. The building is situated to take advantage of the views of the valley from the rear while the entrance faces the parking areas, tiered into the hillside to reduce their visual impact on otherwise natural surroundings. The LEED Silver certified building incorporates green features including energy-efficient and dark-skies compliant lighting, geothermal heat, water-saving toilets and faucets, light-colored roofing, sustainably harvested wood, recycled-content products, rain gardens, and bike racks.
The new visitor center will help to educate visitors about the regional wildlife, conservation history and stewardship practices, and provide creative ideas for exploration of this unique and rugged section of Pennsylvania.