We're taking votes on our paint selection for the exterior metal of our building. You can Like us on Facebook to see photos of the selection and to give us your thoughts (use Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center, with the ampersand)...or take a look below and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One: light gray
Two: Darker Gray
The columns will all be painted...and the idea that the architects have is to differentiate materials...that the metal not look like the concrete, etc.
S.L. Williamson is starting on our road today, completing the prime and seal later this week. Cars traveling the current road have ended up coated in a thin layer of dust, so we're all happy to be completing the project...though dust can cover scratches and rust marks!
The interior painting of the new building has been completed...and now we have the sealing of the road and the water connection to accomplish. When I look at the building, I think of children's education but also subcontractors and challenges. In the past few months we've done a lot of work on the Keelboat. You can see a lot of the photographs of our Keelboat restoration on our Facebook page. Please go Like it if you haven't already!
This week Virginia Power dug trenches and laid down cables to give our new building electricity. In the meantime they rescued turtles and displaced copperheads. In my almost ten years on the site I have only seen one baby copperhead and two black snakes (though the pair of black snakes I saw repeatedly, since they lived in the dog park and in the barn, according to park staff leisurely slithering between the two). Wildlife does a good job of hiding, although the cicadas are certainly not hiding. Last week before the rains there were thousands of them past Trevillians Creek. The children I was leading on a hike kept screaming in fun. The red-eyed cicadas were more at the children's eye-level. I could look away more easily. Looking closely at them can be rewarding, however. When rain falls on their wings it looks like diamonds...not to insert purple prose into this post, but the wings do become jewel-like.
We are a year later than we thought on the building, the volcanic rock getting in our way physically and financially. Even now it appears: Virginia Power hit "more than they thought," but I have gotten used to rock and expense, and the reality doesn't make me as volcanic as it used to. The expense has gone from six figures to four, a welcome change. It is still surprising to remember that lava used to flow in Charlottesville.
We are set to complete within the next two months (everyone else is saying one month, but I have been ever cautious in predicting ends). The next step will be raising more money for the interior and for staff. We will probably emerge in the fall to the general public, though we are serving school groups now and camps in the summer camps before a general opening. We are emerging a little later than the cicadas...and like them haven't started our full song yet. (I haven't heard them at all yet...they are silently perched on stems.)
Alexandria Searls is the Executive Director of the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is also an internationally exhibited photographer and filmmaker whose work often addresses American history.