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Posted on: March 23, 2021

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center

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Provincetown Select Board Unanimously Supports Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center  

Partners and architects for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center presented the final two conceptual designs to the Provincetown Select Board at their meeting on March 8, 2021. Sanctuary Superintendent, Pete DeCola and Program Coordinator/ Visitor Center Project Manager, Anne-Marie Runfola, joined partners from the Center for Coastal Studies, the Town of Provincetown, and Oudens Ello Architecture at the virtual meeting to present the designs and locations, discuss opportunities and challenges, and receive feedback. The design parameters include a building located on town property proximate to the Whale Watching vessels, constructed as carbon neutral as possible, showcasing sustainable building techniques within flood zone requirements, and with space for new comfort facilities, reimagined transportation facilities and traffic flow to improve public safety. 

Members of the public and Community Steering Committee Members expressed their support for the project during the opening public comments. We asked the board to provide a recommendation on their preferred location and design, and the five members unanimously chose the "wharf" design, closest to Macmillan Wharf, mirroring the choice of 75% of survey respondents and public event participants.  There were considerable questions and comments from the select board. They voted unanimously to request continued consideration of the Wharf design and a companion study for parking options and traffic flow in the area. Another public outreach campaign will be presented with more details to follow.

Now narrowed to one site and with a rough design, the architects and interpretive planners will add design details and cost estimates in the next six weeks. During this time, the project team will set up pre-permit "meetings of community interest" with other town boards, in addition to convening the Community Steering Committee again and communicating status to the public. 

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