TYLin is close to completing the construction phase design services for the construction of a new, USD 46 million, 28,000-square-foot Visitor Center at Niagara Falls State Park in Niagara Falls, New York. Our prior success on the Niagara Falls State Park Transformation Initiative, a USD 65 million project that revitalized and upgraded the park, propelled us to be selected as the prime consultant firm for the Visitor Center. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP), our client on both projects, recognized the capabilities of our dedicated team and our collaborative approach.
The Transformation Initiative was a comprehensive capital rehabilitation effort that spanned 400 acres along the Niagara River and lasted more than five years. Almost every major location, feature, and attraction within the park was transformed through a series of interconnected projects, all while ensuring accessibility and safety for the nine million yearly visitors.
Reflecting on the magnitude of the Transformation Initiative, several factors contributed to New York State Parks entrusting us with its next high-profile endeavor. Close collaboration between NYSOPRHP, TYLin, and landscape architecture firm The LA Group, a long-standing partner, was key. That connection, along with our solid relationships with 13 subconsultants who shared a similar client commitment, were equally important and helped us provide effective management.
To facilitate collaboration, the Transformation Initiative project’s key leaders, Frank McCue, NYSOPRHP Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Capital; myself as Program & Project Manager; and David Miller from The LA Group as Co-Project Manager, held in-person progress meetings on-site every two weeks for five years. This regular communication allowed us to address field-engineering challenges promptly, ensuring public safety and minimizing construction delays.
Scheduling, site accessibility, and security were additional crucial factors in the project's success. Niagara Falls State Park needed to remain open and accessible to the public. Careful scheduling allowed construction to progress logically from one section of the park to another while keeping the park operational. Work was strategically planned around major holidays to accommodate peak visitor numbers. Site security measures and alternate pathways ensured visitor safety. The increase in visitor counts during the transformation reflects the project's success.
Taking collaboration to new heights, this project sets a standard for future endeavors. The client's satisfaction with our program management led to an expansion of the scope of work and budget, allowing us to transform nearly every inch of the park. Individual team members had the opportunity to showcase their capabilities. NYSOPRHP leveraged the program's success to achieve far more than originally planned.
Managing large-scale projects like this requires strong client relationships and effective coordination with subconsultants and stakeholders. The project team must work seamlessly, understanding each member's role and responsibilities. TYLin's role as Program Manager relieved the client of coordinating day-to-day details with many consultants. New York State Parks, however, played a crucial role in keeping visitors informed about the availability of attractions.
The Niagara Falls State Park Transformation Initiative exemplifies the power of teamwork and collaboration in delivering a world-class rehabilitation effort. It highlights the importance of client relationships, meticulous planning, and effective management. The results of this program will be enjoyed by visitors for generations to come, ensuring that Niagara Falls State Park remains a cherished destination.
Dennis served as Program Manager and Project Manager for the Niagara Falls State Park Transformation Initiative. With 41 years of civil engineering experience, he skillfully managed every aspect of the project, including design phases, contract documentation, bidding processes, and overseeing construction administration. He played a crucial role as the main point of contact between our client, the designers of adjacent projects, and the construction oversight team. Currently, Dennis continues to serve as the Project Manager for the Visitor Center project.