Atwood Welcome Center is Open for Business!

By Adria Bergeron

May 26, 2016

May 20, 2016 was a beautiful spring day for a ribbon cutting. Guests had the opportunity to view the impressive facility and tour the 4,300 square foot, $1.8 million Welcome Center that will better serve park guests as they enter and exit the park. 

John Hoopingarner, Executive Director of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, spoke about the new facility and the additional improvements that are to come over the next five to seven years. "This is the kickoff to the process" Hoopingarner said.  "$120 million has been approved and committed by the Board of Directors to fund upgrades to the parks and marinas including Atwood, Charles Mill, Piedmont, Pleasant Hill, Seneca and Tappan Lake facilities."

Tony Luther, Deputy Chief of Planning and Projects was on hand at the ribbon cutting and said, "This facility will better serve the needs of the customers and staff and is fully ADA Accessible. The architectural design of the building was created with rustic materials and exposed wood to represent a natural setting and provide a welcoming feeling as you enter the park." 

Luther was able to provide invaluable input into the building design in an effort to help better serve park guests.  Serving as Atwood Lake Park manager for 25 years, he was able to offer insight into the logistics that will allow a better flow into and out of the park, especially during busy holiday weekends and special events.  

The Welcome Center combines the gate, registration and administrative offices into a one-stop-shop where guests entering the campground can pull right up to the window to check-in or returning guests can utilize the pass-through lane, alleviating long lines entering the park. A parking lot, in addition to pull-through spaces, is also available for guests who would park their camping units and check into their campsite or obtain information such as maps and brochures. A small retail store is also housed in the Welcome Center.

The MWCD worked with the internationally recognized planning firm of Woolpert Inc.of Dayton, OH.

The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the 16 reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving nearly $10 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government, as well as providing popular recreational opportunities that bolster the region’s economy. A significant portion of the reservoirs are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

For more information about the MWCD, visit www.mwcd.org and follow the MWCD on Facebook and Twitter.

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