City approves additional $2.5 million for repairs to Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Courtesy of City of Colorado Springs
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is located downtown in the restored 1903 El Paso County Courthouse.

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum will soon see much-needed updates to the building's roof and HVAC system. City Council members approved an additional $2.5 million for the project this week, nearly doubling the initial budget set last year. Additional funding has been secured through various grants.

Chris Fiandaca, city budget manager, said a portion of the original allocation went toward an engineering study that found the more than 120-year-old building needed extensive repairs, beyond what was expected.

In a presentation to city council last month Fiandaca said the work goes beyond replacing piping and equipment. That's because part of the ventilation system was installed through a hatch on the roof that is no longer functional.

"In order to remove the old and install the new [ventilation] equipment, the roof does need to be replaced," she said. "That was last replaced in the 1990s."

Wikimedia Commons
A postcard from 1908-1909 showing the El Paso County Courthouse in Colorado Springs. The building is the current home of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

The ductwork in the building was also found to be problematic. Museum director Matt Mayberry said some of the ductwork in the building is made of a material similar to cardboard. 

"Probably as a cost savings measure at the time, they used this duct board that has collapsed in certain areas so we don't have airflow," Mayberry said.

The museum could close for a few months during the repairs, but Mayberry said that decision has not yet been made.

"We're exploring the options. Closure would save some time in the process. About two months is what we're estimating," he said. "It's going to be disruptive either way."

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum houses artifacts and exhibits highlighting the history and culture of the Pikes Peak region.

More Colorado Springs stories