With cost estimate nearing $50M, fundraising key for new Summit House
As 2017 begins, that situation has not changed, according to leaders of the effort to replace the facility that's stood atop the peak for over half a century.
As Suthers noted then, the estimated overall cost is $45-50 million. “We have a sense where half of that will come from,” he said at that time.
The mayor did not offer details, but a fundraising breakdown was provided in a recent Westside Pioneer e-mail exchange with Jack Glavan, manager of Pikes
PPAM is ready to provide $10 million from its fund balance, and there is a “bonding potential” of $10-15 million,” he said. Being sought is $30 million in private contributions that “could come from individuals, corporations, foundations, etc.”
To address that money gap, PPAM is paying an Ohio company (the Benefactor Group) $61,000 to “complete a fundraising feasibility study as well as develop a fundraising campaign strategy,” Glavan added. The study is to be completed in late spring.
Regarding construction, Summit House supporters had previously hoped that at least preliminary aspects could occur in 2017, but that is still up in the air. In answering that question, Glavan reiterated the point about funding availability; he also noted the currently uncertain time frame for the city's environmental assessment (EA) application to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
The USFS "needs to complete formal consultations with the State Historic
In the meantime, the project contractor, G.E. Johnson, is looking at “various scheduling scenarios to determine how much work could be completed during our limited construction season based upon different potential start dates," he said.
Regardless of funding availability, “if the EA isn't completed before the end of summer, then the project would most likely be delayed until next year," he elaborated.
The current Summit House Visitor Center, dating back to the early 1960s, consists of multiple buildings that have shown signs of aging, project officials have said. Handling roughly 600,000 visitors annually from the Pikes Peak Highway, the cog railway and the Barr Trail, the facility is operated as a City of Colorado Springs enterprise by PPAM, under a special use permit from the USFS.
The overall intent is to build a complex that would be functional and energy-conscious while fitting in aesthetically with its summit location.
Initial construction estimates ranged between $20 million and $50 million. The higher end has emerged since G.E. Johnson was hired in the past year and began taking closer looks at the complexities involved in building more than 14,000 feet above sea level, including issues of permafrost, heavy snow and winds up to 195 mph.
Integrated into the design are various technologies and techniques aimed at conserving energy and water. “It will not be an energy hog and it will last a long, long time,” summarized Stuart Coppedge of RTA Architects, one of the design consultants, at the October meeting.
The environmental push includes an application for an international sustainability certification. Attaining such “green” levels will add to the cost, but no more than $1 million, Glavan estimated.
Westside Pioneer article