This week construction started on the expansion of the bookstore at Fort Clatsop National Memorial. This construction project will double the size of the store and allow the nonprofit Fort Clatsop Historical Association, which operates the facility, to expand the array of educational merchandise sold.
"With sales at the store increasing faster than visitation, this expansion is coming none too soon," said Sandy Reinebach, business manager for the Historical Association. "Our sales are actually being limited by the amount of space and spectrum of educational materials."
Funds from sales at the store are used to support the mission of the National Park Service in managing Fort Clatsop. The money is used to provide knowledgeable staff in the bookstore, support a wide range of educational programs and to purchase land for the authorized boundary expansion.
Core to the relationship between the National Park Service and Historical Association is the role the store plays in the education mission of the park.
"When people visit national parks they are looking to form lasting memories," said Chip Jenkins, park superintendent. "One of the ways people do this is to buy a book, piece of art or other memento that represents both the story of the park and a fond memory of the visit. With the expansion the store will be able to provide a wider array of educational materials and take on more of the flavor of a store that you find at a first rate museum."
The project, one of the key bicentennial legacy projects that the Historical Association has been involved in, is expected to cost $100,000 and be completed by March 10. Rickenbach Construction of Astoria is serving as the prime contractor.