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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 18, 2024


The National Park Service took the first steps over the weekend in what will be a gradual move of offices and public reception and display operations to the new V.I. National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay.
As of 8 a.m. Sunday, visitors were welcomed to the reception area at the main entrance of the two-story creamy yellow facility with the burnt orange roof that is the most imposing waterfront structure now greeting ferry passengers from St. Thomas as they approach St. John.
The reception area features what park ranger Pat Dinisio described as a "huge desk" and initially has been stocked with the brochures, maps, postcards and bookstore materials that had been on display temporarily in recent months at the Morris F. DeCastro Clinic. The new facility is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Telephone service is not scheduled to be connected until July 1. Meantime, however, the ranger on duty can be reached at the cellular number 690-2497.
Dinisio said the new space is "big and airy, with a high ceiling and ceiling fans, lots of natural wood." The new exhibits to be installed are still being developed, she said, but some of the displays from the old visitor center may be moved in temporarily.
Also, she said, "The bookstore has a lot of new stuff on the way."
R.W. Jenkins, the park chief of maintenance and engineering, said other operations and offices will be moved into the building gradually in the next few weeks. "By the end of July we will be all the way in," he said.

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