The Blackstone Visitor Center site is located within the National Register-Listed Blackstone Canal Historic District and is bordered by the Providence and Worcester rail line on the west, Route 146 on the east and McKeon Road on the south. The site previously was the home to the Rome Building Products structure, which was demolished in 2010. Phase I consisted of repairing/restoring canal walls, installing utilities for Phase II, removal of hazardous soils, capping of soils remaining on site and grading of the site to a near final condition. Phase I work was completed in 2016; Phase II work began in February 2017 and will be completed by September 2018.
Phase II work consists of:
- Construction of the 11,000 sf single-story LEED Silver Worcester Blackstone Visitor Center/DCR Central Regional Headquarters; which combines the Visitor Center with the regional offices for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
- Construction of a pedestrian bridge over the Middle River connecting the southern and northern portions of the site along a ‘Heritage Walk.’
- Construction of a solar pavilion that is also a canopy for small events.
- Landscaping improvements consisting of an outdoor picnic terrace, plantings and parking area.
- Connecting bike/pedestrian paths to the Quinsigamond bike/pedestrian path completed in Phase I.
- Traffic and signal improvements on McKeon Road to facilitate access to the new facility.