Open house set for monument facility

An open house has been scheduled to offer information about a plaza and education center proposed for a site near the east entrance to the Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction.

The open house is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 18 at the east entrance maintenance building adjacent to the fee gate.

Architect Jon Schler has prepared proposed plans for the facility for public review and comment. Tours of the site also will be offered.

As part of plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Colorado National Monument as a unit of the National Park Service in 2016, the monument and  Colorado National Monument Association  have proposed the construction of an east end plaza and education center.

The plaza and education center would be located near the fee gate on what formerly served as park staff housing.

The facility would include picnic and shade areas as well as a drive-through circular road for school buses to accommodate the 9,000 local children annually who receive conservation, public lands, recreation and geology education at the monument. The facility also will include an amphitheater for educational programs, restrooms, interpretive educational displays; access to nearby trails and a headquarters for visiting scientists in the park for research purposes.

For additional information about the Colorado National Monument Association, visit the Web site located at www.coloradonma.org.