GRAND LAKE, Okla. – The Covid-19 pandemic shut down the public free walk-in tours of the Pensacola Dam, but now Grand River Dam Authority is offering specialized tours for groups.

Groups are encouraged to call GRDA and schedule a tour of the Pensacola Dam, said Justin Alberty, GRDA spokesman.

The first hydroelectric facility to be built in Oklahoma, GRDA built the dam between 1938 to 1940. It spans a mile across the Grand River valley and holds back the 44,000 acres that form the Grand Lake and is referred to as the longest multiple-arch dam in the world

“The special group tours allow GRDA to utilize staff resources more efficiently,” Alberty said. “Also, it will allow us to better schedule around the times when, due to powerhouse maintenance projects or other activity, it would not be safe to have tour groups passing through the generator floor. “

The Ecosystems building does remain open to the public and everyone is welcome to see the historical and ecosystem exhibits in the building.

Tours originate from the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center, which houses a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory.

“The Ecosystems and Education Center continues to be a field trip destination for classes,” Alberty said. ““We’ve actually had hundreds of students come through just this spring semester alone.”

He says during these tours, the students learned about hydroelectricity, touring the dam, ecosystem management, and electric and water safety.

“We’ve had all ages from third grade through college engineering classes,” Alberty added.

Tours originate from the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center.

For more information call (918) 782-4726.