With construction of the Capitol Visitor Center more than 99 percent complete — and systems testing continuing on schedule — officials are now focused on ensuring that everything runs smoothly when the CVC opens this fall.
[IMGCAP(1)]And that means hiring the people to run it.
CVC officials have spent the past several weeks reviewing résumés, conducting interviews and narrowing down applicants for 60 visitor assistant positions available at the facility, said spokesman Tom Fontana.
Visitor assistants will serve as “front-line ambassadors” for the CVC, according to Terrie Rouse, the CVC’s chief executive officer for visitor services.
The assistants will often be the first people visitors meet when they enter the CVC, Rouse said at a CVC oversight hearing earlier this month.
The assistants will be in charge of helping visitors get around the Capitol complex, but will also be available to respond “quickly and completely to any situation,” Rouse said.
Visitor center officials received more than 600 applications for the spots, and more than 200 people were interviewed, Fontana said.
The application pool was very diverse, Fontana said, noting that CVC officials held a job fair, reached out to different Congressional caucuses, placed advertisements in smaller, nontraditional outlets and contacted schools and universities across the country to recruit applicants.
Crews officially have wrapped up the installation of the Capitol Dome — the 11-foot model of the Dome that now sits in the Capitol Visitor Center’s Exhibition Hall, that is.
The model, which acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers has called “an impressive sight,” is designed to give visitors a close-up — but completely accurate — look at the interior and exterior parts of the famed Dome.
The Dome’s exterior, from its base to the Statue of Freedom, is replicated on the front side of the model.
On the back side, the interior of the Rotunda is depicted, along with a cutaway showing the construction of the inner and outer cast-iron Dome.
“Historic drawings and sophisticated technology were used to create this unique 3-D model, and AOC staff ensured that every detail of the model is accurate,” Ayers told Members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch.
“It is an important part of the CVC experience because it will allow children to have a very hands-on experience,” he added.
CVC workers installed the model about three weeks ago. The lighting in the model will simulate a day-night cycle to make it true to life, Rouse said.
The model was created by Midwest Model Makers, an Indianapolis-based company, Rouse said.
“Our young visitors will love this model of the Capitol Dome, and for that reason we’ve made sure the model is tough, durable, easily cleaned and it never needs to be painted since color is impregnated into the mold,” Rouse said.