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Design and Construction

DCR's Design and Construction (DAC) section is responsible for all construction and renovation within Virginia’s State Parks and Natural Areas. DAC's goal is to create long-lasting facilities across the state for the public to enjoy.


LEED visitor center at Wilderness Road State Park.Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a nationally recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. DCR voluntarily elected to use LEED standards for new visitor center construction. The following state parks have visitor centers that have been approved and rated by the council:

  • James River - LEED Gold - Buckingham County
  • Westmoreland - LEED Gold - Westmoreland County
  • Sailors Creek Battlefield - LEED Silver - Amelia County
  • Shenandoah River - LEED Silver - Warren County
  • Wilderness Road - LEED Certified - Lee County
  • Smith Mountain Lake - LEED Certified - Bedford County

2002 General Obligation Bond

GOB-funded campground at Belle Isle State Park.On Nov. 5, 2002, nearly 70 percent of the electorate in Virginia voted in favor of the Virginia Parks and Natural Areas bond referendum. The $119 million bond included many capital improvement projects such as new visitor centers, campgrounds and ranger residences. Also included were trails and repair projects throughout the park system, and severe shoreline erosion control at several parks. Lastly, the bond provided funding for several acquisitions and the development of three new parks.

Ongoing Projects

  • Douthat: Construct equestrian camping area
  • Fairy Stone: Construct equestrian camping area
  • First Landing: Improve visitors center
  • New River Trail: Renovate historic Foster Falls complex
  • Staunton River: Construct equestrian camping area
  • Various parks: Trail Improvements

Completed Projects

  • Bear Creek Lake: Construct New cabins/meeting facility
  • Belle Isle: New campground and new visitors center
  • Belle Isle: Expand maintenance complex
  • Breaks Interstate: Construct campground
  • Breaks Interstate: Restaurant facility upgrade
  • Chippokes Plantation: Replace water system
  • Chippokes Plantation: Renovations historic structures
  • Chippokes Plantation: Construct campground and expand concessions
  • Claytor Lake : Construct new cabins and expand marinaClaytor Lake marina.
  • Douthat: Construct cabins
  • Fairy Stone: Dredge lake and boat ramp improvements
  • False Cape: Visitor center
  • First Landing: Upgrade campgrounds
  • First Landing: Construct storage area/pole sheds
  • First Landing: Replace campground bathhouses
  • First Landing: Improve Chesapeake Bay Center
  • Grayson Highlands: Renovate visitors center
  • Grayson Highlands: Construct group campground bathhouse
  • Grayson Highlands: Improve utilities
  • Holliday Lake: Construction campground
  • Hungry Mother: Dredge lake
  • Hungry Mother: Replace water lines
  • Hungry Mother: Develop campground
  • Hungry Mother: Construct visitors center
  • James River : Construct campground
  • James River: Construct cabins
  • James River: Construct equestrian camping area
  • James River: Construct visitors center
  • Kiptopeke: Construct overnight facilities
  • Kiptopeke: Upgrade campground infrastructure
  • Lake Anna: Construct new cabins and campgrounds
  • Leesylvania: Construct boat piers/picnic shelter
  • Mason Neck: Construct new staff residence/expand officeMason Neck residence.
  • Mason Neck: Improve roads
  • Natural Tunnel: Construct cabins/campground/bathhouse
  • New River Trail: Expand water distribution system
  • New River Trail: Improve trails
  • Occoneechee: Construct cabins
  • Occoneechee: Construct equestrian camping area
  • Occoneechee: Construct visitor contact station
  • Pocahontas: Improve roads
  • Pocahontas: Construct equestrian center
  • Pocahontas: Construct parking areas
  • Pocahontas: Construct cabins and expand campground
  • Sailor's Creek Battlefield: Construct visitor centerSailor's Creek visitor center.
  • Sailor's Creek Battlefield: Renovate historic Hillsman House
  • Shenandoah River: Construct road, cabins, and campground
  • Shenandoah River: Construct visitor center
  • Sky Meadows: Construct picnic area
  • Sky Meadows: Expand campground/Appalachian Trail Shelters
  • Smith Mountain Lake: Construct visitor center
  • Smith Mountain Lake: Improve boat ramp parking
  • Staunton River: Renovate visitor center
  • Staunton River: Boat ramp improvements
  • Staunton River Battlefield: Upgrade utilities
  • Staunton River Battlefield: Renovate historic Mulberry Hill mansion
  • Twin Lakes: Construct maintenance area
  • Westmoreland: Construct visitor center
  • Wilderness Road: Construct utilities, roads, picnic area, staff residence and parking
  • Wilderness Road: Construct visitor center
  • Wilderness Road: Renovate historic Karlan mansion
  • York River: Improve boat ramp facilities
  • Various parks: Repair shoreline erosion

Click here to view more or larger versions of these photos, as well as other DAC photos.

Dam Rehabilitation

Lake Laura dam rehabilitation project.In 2008, the Virginia Public Building Authority approved $20 million for dam rehabilitation associated with soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs). State-required break inundation studies also are underway for all SWCD dams in Virginia. Design work towards rehabilitation has begun for these dams:

  • Stoney Creek Dam #9 - Lake Laura Dam
  • Stoney Creek Dam #10 - Bird Haven Dam
  • Lower North River Dam #78 - Briery Branch Dam (Picture provided)
  • Lower North River Dam #83 - Hone Quarry