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U.S. Air Force Academy’s North Gate temporarily closing for roundabout construction

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – The U.S. Air Force Academy’s North Gate will be temporarily closed beginning July 15 and continuing through August 2 to all vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

The USAFA will be constructing a roundabout for at the North Gate as a part of their True North Commons project.

Access to the academy will still be available through the South Gate.

The new roundabout is aimed at easing traffic flow onto the Academy, Hotel Polaris and the Hosmer Visitor Center – new additions that are the result of the 57-acre True North Commons project.

Both the hotel and the visitor center sit directly outside the North Gate.

The 32,000-square-foot Hosmer Visitor Center will serve as an official Colorado welcome center, and will showcase cadet life. It's named after Retired Lt. Gen. Bradley Hosmer, the first academy graduate to be named superintendent, and his spouse. The visitor center is expected to open in December of 2025.

The other half of the project involves the construction of Hotel Polaris, a publicly-accessible 375-room hotel, conference center and office space. USAFA says it will open in the fall, before the beginning of the academic semester and sports season.

Dan Schnepf, the master developer for True North Commons, explained how investor bonds are financing the project:

  • $232 for the four-star hotel and conference center that will offer a variety of amenities including restaurants, pools and three flight simulators
  • $90 million for the visitor center and accompanying infrastructure, including the roundabout
  • $100 million for an office building with 175,00 square feet of space
  • $40 million for 30,000 square feet of retail space, with three of five available pods already having commitments from a gas station, a bank and a retailer

The visitor center was the vision of former mayor Steve Bach in 2013, when he suggested five new venues under the title of City for Champions; the others are the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum; Weidner Field (home of the Switchbacks soccer team and special events facility); Ed Robson Arena (home for the Colorado College hockey team); and the William Hybl Sports Medicine & Performance Center.

The Academy’s Pine Drive will also remain closed to all vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians through July 27. Officials say repaving efforts will impact the access to Pine Valley, including Pine Valley Housing, the equestrian center and Air Academy High School.

The detour to Pine Valley is from Stadium Boulevard to Community Center Drive to West Pine Loop, and access to Air Academy High School is through Pine Valley Housing.

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Scott Harrison

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


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