The I-55 Welcome Center Replacement Project has been revised. The strategic focus during this process has been on increasing efficiency and simplification of critical details.
The revised design is more efficient by consolidating some building spaces, while preserving all of the restroom and tourism capacity anticipated with the completion of the I-69 corridor. The Visitor Center is still poised to become the State’s first net-zero energy building. It is projected to generate more energy than it will use over the course of a year. Sustainable features have been simplified. These features include a high-performing building envelope, efficient building systems, and passive energy-saving techniques like roof overhangs and sun shades. This will reduce taxpayer costs over the life of the facility. The photovoltaic array used on the Visitor Center roof will produce the energy needed to power the average Tennessee home. Separate parking areas for both larger and smaller vehicles are included in the project. The highway-scaled sculpture that has been on the site since 1987, Pyradoptics, by Tom Wuchina, will remain and has been incorporated as a part of the Center. This design embraces Tourism’s vision of ‘warm and welcoming’ facilities in a metropolitan context.
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