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New Pikes Peak summit house enters final year of construction

Colorado Springs officials allowed media Thursday to tour the new Pikes Peak summit house still under construction.

Workers have "topped off" the building, or brought it to its final three-story height on the south side of the peak.

Crews are wrapping up exterior construction for the season but will continue working on the interior.

"Unless we get winds above 60 mph and temperatures a ways below zero, we can still work safely," said James Shepherd, the project superintendent. "We've sealed the building so that no snow can blow in. We have enough heat, and with the building's insulation it doesn't take as much heat as you might think to keep us warm."

Work on the $60 million project started late last spring and expected to be completed by the end of next year.

The new house will include more space, modern amenities, interactive displays and a walkway along the north and east perimeters of the peak.

Jack Glavan, manager of the Pikes Peak Highway, said the project may actually be helping tourism.

"Because of all the snow we had earlier this year, the summit was closed a lot and we fell behind in attendance," he said. "But we've caught up. If the weather stays good for the rest of the year, we may set another attendance record. Sure , some visitors would rather not see a construction zone up here, but I think most people like it."

The existing summit house, built in 1963, will be demolished after its replacement opens.

Organizers still need to raise around $7 million in donations to finish paying for the project. If you'd like to help, visit https://coloradosprings.gov/pikes-peak-americas-mountain/article/news/pikes-peak-americas-mountain-4.

Article Topic Follows: Money

Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

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