The National Park Service has selected John Korsmo Construction of Lakewood, WA, and Watts Constructors of Novato, CA, to jointly build the new Paradise Visitor Center and complete historical renovations and preservation of Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier. This is the largest current National Park Service project in the nation.
Initial construction of the $34.7 million project began on June 5.
Visitor center construction and rehabilitation of the Paradise Inn will continue through summer 2008 followed by demolition of the existing visitor center and redesign of the parking lots.
When completed, the new visitor center will replace the existing Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center. The new center will be located in the upper parking lot next to Paradise Inn, originally built in 1916, and feature architecture that complements the inn.
The scope of work includes stabilizing and rebuilding the foundation, cleaning and rebuilding the three historic 90-ft. chimneys and a complete modernization of seven guest rooms to ADA accessible standards.
“We’re very excited to be selected for this project,” said John Korsmo Jr., president of John Korsmo Construction. “It’s an icon of the Pacific Northwest and an important national treasure.”
Korsmo forecasts the project will employ approximately 150 people when construction reaches full stride.
All of the subcontractors are from the Pacific Northwest, with the vast majority from the Puget Sound region. Nearly half of the overall contract price is for subcontractors.
Visitors to Paradise should expect some inconvenience during construction although the National Park Service and Watts Constructors/Korsmo are proactively working to minimize it by implementing a Good Neighbor Policy, which limits noise and interference with guests.
Korsmo Construction has a strong presence and the necessary relationships and experience for the project, while Watts Constructors brings a solid track record working with the National Park Service and its requirements, according to representatives.
John Korsmo Construction is a second-generation family-owned company that has been building throughout the Northwest for nearly 60 years.
It has been recognized in 2005 and 2006 with Excellence in Construction awards from the Associated General Contractors of Washington. The company currently has approximately $50 million of new construction under way in addition to the Mt. Rainier projects.
Watts Constructors has extensive experience working with the National Park Service, the United States Navy and private clients.
The company has offices in California and Hawaii. It currently has approximately $60 million of new construction under way.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/mora/ CEG