DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — A big change is coming to Antelope Island with plans unveiled for a complete overhaul of the visitor center which was built the 90s and has served its purpose.
The new facility, which will be called a learning center, will have an observation deck and gathering spot to take in all the park's beauty. In all, it will be about three times the size of the current center.
It will also include a large auditorium for students to learn about the Great Salt Lake when they come for a field trip. Also, a research lab will also be at the location where scientists from various Utah universities will look at things like the impacts of declining water levels.
"It's a big island, it has lots of room, we don't want to degrade the resource. So we are trying to make plans now. How do we responsibly host that many people?" said park manager Jeremy Shaw.
Attendance at Antelope Island is about 4 times greater than it was just 10 years ago and has made the current visitor center obsolete.
"Antelope Drive is getting widened, there is going to be an off ramp out west. We are going to look toward 2 million, and hopefully give them a fantastic place to come out and experience Antelope Island," said Shaw.
The cost of the new visitor center will run about $13 million with funds approved by the state legislature.
A second phase to the original building was supposed to be built in 1996, but it never came about. Now, all these years later, officials hope to break ground late this year; and if all goes well, it could be completed sometime next summer.