The entrance to the Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center in the south Joplin park awaits finishing touches.
Forty days of ice and seven days of rain isn't going to postpone move-in day at the Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center, according to Tony Robyn, center executive director who has been overseeing the construction project along with local residents, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the National Audubon Society. That date is August 13 with a grand opening celebration planned for September 8.
The center's location, off of Hearne's Blvd. in south Joplin, is near a glade area consisting predominately of hard chert considered a globally unique habitat. Adjacent to it also is Shoal Creek whose banks are accessible by more than three miles of walking trails that since their completion have become the favorite of birders and hikers experiencing several unique Ozark landscapes.
Audubon member and chief project designer Matt Gearheart worked with Gastinger Hardin and Walker to create an exterior that would best blend in with the environment. A shot-crete technique and the application of three different overlapping colors were chosen to create the desired effect.
Brian Burt, owner of Burt's Concrete of Joplin described the shot-crete method for creation of the center's exterior. He said that a special wood framing was made that was covered with a vapor barrier, a wire mesh screening was added and then the concrete was blown onto the surface via the use of a compressor. Burt, who had done interior walls using the shot-crete technique, said that his only challenge with the center project was in how the height of the building affected the application process.
For the selection of a color Robyn said they chose to go with deeper brown tones. "We wanted to allow for fading," he explained. He said edging was applied during the final steps in the process to resemble fissures in rock or the earth.
Energy-efficient windows that line the back side of the Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center face south towards Shoal Creek. A rear entrance leads to the Silver Creek Glade and the beginning of the Rotary Centennial Trail.
A Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center membership form may be found here.
For more information about the history of the center, staff and board of trustees profiles, and an outline of programs go here.
To contact Burt's Concrete, call Brian Burt at (417) 850-1872.