GRDA Ecosystems Center Takes Shape

Thursday, February 26th 2009, 4:25 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

LANGLEY, OK -- Millions of dollars are being pumped into a construction project on the shores of Grand Lake.  Work is underway on a new GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center.  The investment is expected to help the power company, community and school kids.

Just off Highway 28 in Langley, the skeleton of a new $4.5 million construction project is taking shape.  It's the new GRDA ecosystems and education center.

08/22/2008  Related Story: Ground Breaking For Eco-Center

"We really felt like ecosystems management needed a place on the water," said GRDA's Justin Alberty.

The 16,000 square foot facility overlooks Grand Lake and the Pensacola Dam.  When the building is finished, it will house offices for ecosystem management workers, who basically oversee wildlife habitat on and around the lake.  It will also include a state of the art water quality laboratory.

"Plus a visitors' center, space for the Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and a large community room," said GRDA's Justin Alberty.

Once it is finished, the center will also have video displays and historical exhibits to help educate people about the history of the region and the lake.  That includes school groups that tour nearby Pensacola Dam.

The center will also be a more convenient location for the thousands of people who live along the lake who currently have to travel to Vinita for dealings with GRDA.

"It's going to be a place for one stop permit shopping for people who are coming after dock permits, water permits, lake related permits, they can come here and get those," said GRDA's Justin Alberty.

GRDA anticipates the project will be finished by the end of 2009.

GRDA also hopes to partner with area universities to offer internship programs for students to work in the new state of the art water quality lab.