Research Center provides a warm retreat
from the winter cold.
the Research Center
The Lava Beds Research Center is the result of a
unique collaboration between the National Park
Service, the Cave Research Foundation (CRF), and
the Lava Beds Natural History Association (LBNHA).
As the value of establishing a research facility in
the Monument became more and more apparent, it also
became obvious that the National Park Services was
unlikely to find the funds to actually build one.
CRF, keenly aware of the benefits that a research
facility would bring to its work, began to explore
alternatives with the Monument. The result was a
three-way Memorandum of Agreement. CRF would raise
the money, design the building, and hire a
contractor to build it. When it was complete, they
would turn the keys to the building over to the
Monument. The Monument would provide a site, offer
guidance, and oversee day-to-day construction.
Lastly, LBNHA would serve as the banker, collecting
and tracking donations, investing the funds, and
paying the bills.
That is precisely the way it happened.
Fundraising began in 1999 and CRF volunteers put in
uncounted hours soliciting funds. By early 2002 we
had exceeded our initial goal of $200,000. The
building plans went through multiple revisions,
again consuming yet more volunteer time.
Construction finally began in the spring of 2004,
and the building is now in use. But the task is not
done. Although construction is complete, the
interior is rather bare. Before the Center can be
fully functional, it needs some scientific
instruments and additional furnishings. We also
need to retire about $25K in no-interest loans
which helped cover the final construction
Every penny of construction costs was donated as
were the hundreds of hours spent raising funds,
designing the building and overseeing construction.
Help us take the final steps in making the Center
fully function. Make a
The Lava Beds Research Center is available to
anyone who wants to conduct research in the Lava
Beds area. Contact David
Larson, Lava Beds National Monument Resource
Manager, for information.
John Tinsley and Bill Broeckle discuss a
digital map of Catacombs Cave being
prepared for the park. Catacombs was the
site of dramatic rescue in the Spring of
When the Research Center was first let out for
bids, the results exceeded the budget. In response,
the plans were subject to several rounds of
revisions. Additional revisions were required when
Siskiyou County imposed additional requirements.
Diversified Contractors, Inc., of Klamath Falls
Oregon, who also constructed the new Visitor
Center, was selected as the general contractor.
Construction of the Lava Beds Research Center
finally began in May, 2004, and the foundations
were completed in time for the June 12th
dedications ceremonies. CRF monitored progress from
afar, with only occasional visits and numerous
phone conversation. Monument personnel provided the
on-site daily supervision. Construction was
finished prior to the Thanksgiving weekend; however
the final inspection had not been completed, so
first usage was delayed into early 2005.