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April 27, 2012
Hydropower Featured at New Table Rock Visitor Center

Table Rock Visitor Center
Hydropower is one of many displays featured
at the new Dewey Short Visitor Center.

Staff from Southwestern attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Dewey Short Visitor Center at Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri, on April 27, 2012, hosted by the Little Rock District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).

Southwestern collaborated closely with the Corps to develop the interactive exhibit related to hydropower, to ensure that the exhibit fit into the larger story of Table Rock Dam and the history of electricity in the region.

The completed exhibit includes:

  • a large cutaway of the dam showing the primary components of power generation;
  • interactive touch-screen displays with photos, maps, and an agency video;
  • a replica of a transmission structure;
  • an authentic porcelain bushing (courtesy of the Corps);
  • panels describing seasonal peak demand;
  • a powerhouse control room display depicting then versus now; and
  • an interactive display where visitors can manually generate electricity to power various household items.

The new visitor center is located near the old visitor center on the south end of Table Rock Dam. In addition to hydropower, the new facility features various informational displays, a 75-seat theater, a gift shop, a multi-purpose room, and a wet lab where students can learn about water quality. The new 15,000 square foot building has earned a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Standard certification. Like its predecessor, the facility is named for former U.S. Representative Dewey Short, who was a proponent for the building of Table Rock Dam.


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