City nears hiring a Bancroft Park contractor; work seen from January to May
Other than some trees removed, plexiglass installed over the cabin windows, an electricity upgrade and a sign announcing that pavilion users need a permit, not much happened in the way of work at Bancroft Park in 2018.
But that's set to change soon. According to David Deitemeyer, the Colorado Springs Parks planner, a contractor will be hired in January, who will then start in on the multi-faceted Bancroft “Action Plan.”
“We'd anticipate substantial completion prior to Memorial Day weekend and the scheduled Territory Days,” Deitemeyer said in an e-mail. “This is a significant goal we are targeting to reduce/limit any impacts with that event. The exact schedule will not be known until the project is awarded to a contractor.”
Included in the project for the one-acre Old Colorado City park are a free-standing restroom at the southeast corner, a small playground on the east side and replacing the 41-year-old pavilion with a new, open-look “plaza.”
The city budget is about $500,000, with $300,000 of that going to the restroom. Its contract was awarded last summer to a company named Exeloo, Deitemeyer said, with the installation to be done by a local subcontractor, Loewen Construction.
The planner had predicted in October that all the Action Plan's elements would be finished this spring, but he said in late December that will not be the case.
“The improvements shown with the pedestrian crossing at Colbrunn, the parking additions on Colorado Avenue and the Colbrunn Court street modifications will not be included at this time,” he elucidated. “Our focus for the project funding will be specific to the improvements internal to the park.”
The “additions” will be four new parking spaces to be carved into Colorado Avenue in front of the park. The “street modifications” will include necking down Colbrunn (a one-way street) at Colorado to allow “improved vehicular control for special events,” the Action Plan states.
Deitemeyer said it is “unknown at this point” when that street work will be accomplished.
The only major Old Town event before Territory Days that will be affected by the park project is the annual Mad Hatter in late March. Organized by the Old
Other than the park itself, the only impact will be the need for a “pedestrian detour at some point for a short duration as the sidewalk along Colorado Avenue is replaced,” Deitemeyer said.
In a mostly online discussion with City Parks this fall, three Old Colorado City groups had asked if the project could include climate-control amenities in the historic Garvin Cabin to make it more amenable to tourists as well as volunteers.
While the work this spring will be limited to “the site around the building” (including handicapped access), Deitemeyer did clarify that “the project will provide a new power supply to the cabin. This will allow for future improvements and/or upgrades to the heating system in the building.”
When the Action Plan was approved in May 2017, all of it was scheduled to be finished by spring of 2018. But as it turned out, the only reconstruction was in '17 to the bandshell, which had been damaged in an unsolved arson fire the previous January.
The city's requirement for pavilion reservations started in early November. A sign on either side of the open-air structure states, “Pavilion use by reservation only,” followed by a city phone number people presumably can call to make arrangements.
A Westside Pioneer call to the listed phone number in early January prompted an automated message saying that all such reservations must be made online. However, as of early January, the Bancroft pavilion was still not listed as a rentable facility on the city website (coloradosprings.gov/pavilions).
A primary reason for demolishing the pavilion, according to City Parks officials, is problems with vagrants hanging out there on a regular basis. When the reservation sign was posted outside it, a city spokesperson said, even if the reservation strategy lasted only a few months, it was a way "to benefit the community and try to do something to help."
The plexiglass over the cabin windows was installed as a security measure after two break-ins last winter. The Old Colorado City Historical Society says that such is incompatible with the 1859 structure, but a Parks official said there are no plans for removal.
Westside Pioneer article