Caterpillar Visitors Center

Caterpillar Visitors Center

By WEEK Producer
By Denise Jackson

August 11, 2011 Updated Aug 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM CDT

It's hard not to notice the big changes taking place on Peoria's riverfront...with the museum project and Caterpillar's Visitor's Center now underway.
The 52-million dollar visitor center will be the first of it's kind for the global manufacturing company.
Caterpillar has several facilities like the one in Edwards where it demonstrates the company's products...but company officials say the visitors Center will be more than that.
During a presentation today at it's world headquarters a company official talked about the benefits of the new Visitors Center.
Cat Spokesman Jim Baumgartner says it provides a centralized location to not only showcase products but lay out the company's history and heritage.
He says Big Yellow considered the idea for many years after seeing other companies with similar facilities.

"Once we have a good idea we get our arms around it we study it extensively, perhaps excessively before we actually deploy. But once we do make a decision and we do deploy we're pretty proud of the end result and I think that's the case here," Baumgartner said.

So far much of the work on the block has been on the museum. Construction of the Visitors Center began in June.
Crews are still doing a lot of foundation work.
Baumgartner says the visitors center and museum are both scheduled to finish around the same time and open in October of 2012.