The Saltonstall Nature Center at Mass Audubonís Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick will host a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday at 3 p.m. to kick off a $1.6 million renovation and expansion project, Mass Audubon announced in a press release.
The center first underwent a makeover 30 years ago when it was from transformed a century-old horse barn into the current center.
Construction now has begun on a second renovation in order to facilitate the center's more-than 22,000 annual visitors. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and will improve and expand upon the center's energy-efficient features, including natural ventilation, a rainwater collection system, and a rooftop solar array that produces electricity to power the entire building.
Other improvements will include: A new entryway and lobby with nature displays and a retail shop; A new covered, four-season program pavilion; redesigned classroom space for students, scouts, and other groups that will double the sanctuaryís capacity for programming; a new, ADA-compliant elevator; an improved floor plan; and upgraded heating and cooling systems, electrical, plumbing, and insulation.
The sanctuary will be open during construction, with a variety of summer programs, including day camp for children, canoe excursions, and evening activities.
Mass Audubon President Henry Tepper, Campaign for Broadmoor Chair Margaret Robinson, and Wildlife Sanctuary Director Elissa Landre, will be on hand at Thursday's ceremony.