VANCOUVER — The public is invited to an open house on Sat., Jan. 7, 1-3 p.m., at the new Gifford Pinchot National Forest headquarters building on the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site campus.
After a welcome from the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service there will be guided tours showcasing the building’s rehabilitation. The new office is located at 987 McClellan Road, in Vancouver.
Employees are looking forward to the move to the historic building.
“We are excited to be on the Fort Vancouver campus and be located in a more central location in the Vancouver-Portland Metropolitan area,” said Gifford Pinchot National Forest Supervisor Gina Owens. “I’m proud to be part of a project and partnership where we reinvested federal dollars into federal buildings, and are a part of the restoration and repurpose of a historic structure.”
The forest headquarters for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is moving into an army barracks building constructed in 1906. Most recently the building was used by the Army Reserve 104th Division, but has been vacant since 2010. The forest expects to move into the restored building in February.
Over the past several months, the 110-year-old building has received a complete renovation with a new roof and interior, increased energy efficiency, and removal of asbestos and lead. The National Park Service has worked to keep the historic character of the building intact, restoring ceiling tiles, original wood floors and woodwork in the building.
“This preservation and reuse project will be of long-lasting service to our community,” said Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Superintendent Tracy Fortmann. “The rehabilitation of this majestic barracks building is critical and a strong first step in our preserving the iconic Vancouver Barracks within the national park.”
The forest’s visitor services will remain co-located with the National Park Service in the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center. The joint visitor center has brought benefits for both agencies as well as the public, including Saturday hours. The forest’s fire staff and dispatch center moved into a nearby building on the Fort Vancouver campus in April. The dispatch center provides radio and emergency services for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Gifford Pinchot and Mt. Hood National Forests.
This information was provided by the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.