|Tuesday, May 8, 2007|
At 10:00 a.m. on a beautiful Saturday morning, park staff led by Superintendent Vidal Martinez gathered with members of the local community to celebrate the completion of the third phase of a construction project that began in 1997, when the park was first opened to the public.
The day began with members of the Thomas Stone High School Jazz Band playing patriotic tunes and continued with remarks from Ranger Christine Smith, Superintendent Vidal Martinez, Charles County Commissioner Samuel Graves and Hammad Matin from Senator Cardinâs office and a special appearance from Thomas Stone (played by Ranger Scott Hill) and culminated with a mass ribbon cutting in front of the newly opened Visitor Contact Station.
During the previous phases of this project a picnic shelter had been enclosed to accommodate visitor orientation and the east wing of Haberdeventure, the historic home of Thomas Stone had been stabilized but was not suitable for public use. With the completion of this third phase of construction the park now has a multipurpose room with a closed caption film, with audio assistance capability; office space for staff; accessible parking at the Visitor Contact Station and at the historic home; accessible walkway to the east wing of Haberdeventure and public access to Thomas Stoneâs entire home.
Ranger Christine Smith commented, âThe park staff looks forward to sharing these expanded visitor facilities with the public; in particular the multipurpose room is allowing the park to better accommodate school groups - We are already being booked for May and June.â
When asked about the completed project Superintendent Vidal Martinez commented, âThere are several key factors that contributed to the successful completion of this project. First and foremost, the dedication and commitment of the staff from Thomas Stone National Historic Site and George Washington Birthplace National Monument whose close supervision of this project was outstanding. We were able to secure the services of a great minority construction company â J.S. Lafoon, which worked closely with the park and Denver Service Center; which resulted in achieving a product in which we take pride. In addition, we received phenomenal support from our Northeast Regional Support Office in Philadelphia, especially Dick Dretsch â our regional historic architect who equally serves as our Accessibility Coordinator. His support was outstanding throughout the entire project.â