Donation to upgrade monument’s concrete

       The proposed monument in Bancroft Park is not only becoming a certainty, it's getting prettier too.
       Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) President Joanne Karlson said the volunteer entity has nearly enough money now to pay a stone mason for the work he's doing to make a six-foot-high informational pillar about Colorado City history, thanks to continuing donations from the community and monetary infusions during Territory Days from an OCCHS bake sale and a fundraiser pancake breakfast.
       An unexpected project amenity will be a new concrete slab for the monument and decorative concrete around it. The improvements, valued at $25,000, will be implemented by Ideal-Concrete. Owner Clarence Gianarelli offered the work without solicitation.
       “He's a neat guy,” said Dave Hughes, OCCHS treasurer, who authored the monument text and has helped lead the overall planning effort. “It was out of the blue. He just got into the spirit of things.”
       After working out details with Colorado Springs Parks officials, Karlson said she expects Ideal to begin work in early June. Society volunteers will help by chipping away the grout holding together the flagstones lying in a roughly 12-by-15-foot area around the concrete base. This will allow Ideal crews to remove the stones, then implement the concrete work. When finished, the decorative concrete around the base will have “an attractive faux-stone appearance,” she said.
       The society plans to unveil the granite monument, with eight panels of historical graphics and text, at its annual celebration of Founder's Day in August - the 150th (sesquicentennial) anniversary of the start of Colorado City.
       The old concrete base, poured 30 years ago just east of the Garvin Cabin in Bancroft Park, had been deemed adequate to hold the monument's weight, but it is chipped a bit and “somewhat weathered,” Karlson said. With the new work, the area will look “fresh and pretty,” she said.
       The OCCHS is an all-volunteer group that owns and operates the Old Colorado City History Center, which contains a bookstore and museum.

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