4-year Cadet Chapel restoration project starts in 2018
By Ray Bowden, U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
/ Published March 23, 2017
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --
Major restorations on the Cadet Chapel are slated to begin in the summer of 2018.
The project, developed by the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, includes fixing the leaks that have plagued the structure since it opened in 1963.
“Renovations are necessary because the structure is nearly 53 years old and has leaked consistently since it was constructed,” said Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. “The repairs are essential to preserve this National Historic Landmark for future generations.”
Along with fixing the leaks, workers will replace the chapel’s aluminum housing, reinforce the structure, install a redundant water barrier and remove and clean the 24,000 stained glass pieces contained the building’s design.
This will be the first large scale overhaul for the chapel since it opened in 1963. The work is expected to cost between $58 million to $68 million.
Johnson said alternate worship locations are being prepared to accommodate the diverse array of faith groups at the Academy.
“The Cadet Chapel is the most-visited man-made attraction in the state of Colorado,” Johnson said. “By taking the time to do this renovation, we will ensure the chapel remains so for decades to come.”
The Academy is designing a video to show visitors the progress of the renovations.
- Construction on the Academy Cadet Chapel was completed in 1962
- The chapel was awarded the American Institute of Architects' National Twenty-five Year Award in 1996
- The chapel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2004
- The chapel is 150 feet high, 280 feet long and 84 feet wide
- The chapel has 17 spires. Each spire consists of a 75-foot long tubular steel frame weighing five tons
- The chapel staff hosts an estimated 500,000 visitors each year