The next step in the long-planned construction of a new visitors center at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Colorado Springs campus has been taken with a land annexation vote.
That vote, taken by the Colorado Planning Commission, allows the City of Colorado Springs to take in 183 acres in order for the visitor center project to qualify for some $120 million in Colorado sales tax rebates.
The center is part of the city’s ambitious tourist-oriented City for Champions initiative, a series of projects that includes the construction of an Olympic museum in Colorado Springs, a hockey arena on the campus of Colorado College, and a combined sports medicine/performance center on the Colorado Springs campus of the University of Colorado.
As planned, the new $20 million visitors center will include exhibits, a merchandise shop, theater, and meeting room space.
Designed by the Matrix Design Group of Colorado Springs, the visitors center project will also see the companion construction of a hotel and both business and retail space on some 60 of the 183 annexed acres.
Air Force officials have said that a new visitors center is needed in order to accommodate the tens of thousands of tourists and other guests who visit the academy every year.
Work on the new center could launch in the latter part of 2021.
By Garry Boulard
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