Lloyd Center on mark for $3 million upgrade campaign

LCE Welcome Center by studio2sustain, inc. - Click to enlarge image

LCE Welcome Center by studio2sustain, inc. – Click to enlarge image

DARTMOUTH — Don’t be alarmed to see the new flagged off area at the Lloyd Center for the Environment. It heralds good news for fans of the 34-year-old nature center on Potomska Road — expansion.

The closed area marks the footprint of a new 960-square-foot visitor center, a part of the $3 million capital campaign the center recently kicked off, said Rachel L. Stronach, executive director.

“We’ve experienced exponential growth in usage, staff and programming,” she said, pointing to educational programs being booked a year ahead with up to 80 students on site each day, and visitor counts up to 25,000 annually with people coming from 50 states and a dozen different countries.

The capital campaign, the first in its history, will support support $1.5 million worth of facility upgrades and $1.5 million to boost its popular educational programs. It is already halfway through the $3 million goal, Stronach said.

This article first appeared in the Standard Times on 06-25-2015 By Auditi Guha (aguha@s-t.com)

A 12-person steering committee crafted the “Transforming a Legacy” campaign to envision an environmental center of regional significance. Year-long studies have identified the following improvements:

~ A 960-square-foot state-of-the-art Welcome Center meeting top sustainable construction performance standards

~ It will include a bus drop-off shelter, interior and exterior meeting and teaching space, information displays and composting toilets

~ A 600-square-foot waterfront pavilion that would serve as an open-air learning structure and a shelter in bad weather.

~ A 1,600-square-foot addition to the Exploration Center to make room for more education, outreach and research programs in addition to live animal and natural history exhibits.

~ Parking and road improvements

“The entire plan is exciting and every piece of it is necessary to support our programs, visitors, and residents,” Stronach said. “We are going to continue our programming while we go through this.”

The campaign and the five-year plan was announced at the center’s annual meeting on April 30.

“If the Lloyd Center for the Environment is to continue to transform not only lives, but also the futures of our communities and our region, we must put our whole heart and best efforts into raising the necessary funds to renew and sustain our programs and campus. Our students, members and communities deserve no less,” said campaign co-chairs Peter L. Macdonald and Eric A. Braitmayer in a news release.

The transformation will take place in a three-phase process. The parking and roadway improvements will begin this summer, officials said.