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Late August seen to finish Bancroft bandshell repairs; other park work later

      
This is what the beams and rafters inside the Bancroft Park bandshell look like after being treated with a solution (including sodium bicarbonate) that eliminates the odor from burned wood. The photo takes in the northwest corner in the rear of the stage, which had gotten the worst of the damage in the January fire. The plywood across the back covers part of an area that burned on the back wall. The wood coating was applied by Master Blaster, a subcontractor for Murphy Constructors, which has contracted with City Parks for the bandshell repairs. Note: The work shown here is behind the temporary wood wall with the photo collage that currently blocks access to the stage.
Westside Pioneer photo
Started May 31, work on the fire-charred Bancroft Park bandshell will continue until at least the end of August, according to Colorado Springs Parks Operations and Maintenance Director Kurt Schroeder.
       Murphy Constructors initially was contracted to repair the damage from the January fire and is now enlisted for the following “change orders,” Schroeder elaborated:
       - A security door (to block off the front of the stage when it's not in use).
       - An upgraded electrical service (including the capability of shutting off the on-stage outlets as needed).
       - A ramp on the back of the building (to give stage access to anyone in a wheelchair).
       The change orders will raise the Murphy bill to $199,000, Schroeder said. In March, City Council had allocated $250,000 for Bancroft, using an insurance payout and state lottery funds.
       Schroeder clarified that the $51,000 difference will be applied to future work at Bancroft, in keeping with a master plan that was unanimously approved by the City Council-appointed Parks Advisory Board in May.
      
Leaving the work site, Dave Dillinger of Master Blaster (a subcontractor on the Bancroft repair project), secures the chainlink fence that project contractor Murphy Constructors has placed around the bandshell in Bancroft Park. In the background, across the front of the stage, is the temporary wood wall with the photo collage, behind which the interior repair work is taking place.
Westside Pioneer photo
The plan's timeline shows the bandshell work as the project's first phase, with other elements needing until April 2018. These elements, as explained to the board by Parks staff, call for significant modifications/ upgrades to the 1.2-acre Old Colorado City site, as follows:
       - Construction of a stand-alone restroom at the front right corner (replacing the restrooms under the bandshell that are usually closed; that space will be cleared for future City Parks storage).
       - Removal of the pavilion in the center of the park (for the joint purpose of eliminating a vagrant hangout and expanding the concrete “activity plaza” in front of the stage).
       - Construction of a small playground on the east side of the park (seen as a positive activity for families with children).
       - Traffic bump-outs on the east corner at either end of Colbrunn Court (to better control traffic, especially during special events).
       Costs have not yet been determined for this work. Because the $51,000 remaining will not be enough, other funding sources are being tapped. Schroeder said another $225,000 has already been approved in 2018 from the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) fund. He added that Parks staff has applied for $250,000 from the city's LART tourism tax.
       City Parks staff developed its Bancroft-upgrade concepts following two online surveys and two public meetings, both held at the Westside Community Center in April.
       Another public meeting is tentatively scheduled in mid-August to “fine tune” the approved changes, as Deitemeyer put it. He said an exact date depends when park survey drawings are completed, pointing out that construction plans can't start without them.
       Regarding Murphy Constructors' bandshell work, Schroeder said the initial contract's performance bond allowed no more than 56 days after the May 31 start date. With the recent change orders, 30 days have been added to that total, he said.
       Asked to confirm that this means completion by the end of August, Schroeder replied, “Basically, yes. But of course you never know what Mother Nature may throw our way that could create delays.”
       If the schedule holds, the Coronado High School Homecoming Parade pep rally could be the first event to use the upgraded bandshell. It's scheduled Saturday morning, Sept. 16.

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 6/26/17; Outdoors: Bancroft Park)

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