Air Force Academy: Two proposals for new visitors center

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When we put together our story about the City for Champions projects and their status, which appears in this week's Independent, we hadn't heard from the Air Force Academy.

But on March 13, we received answers to a couple of our questions about the Academy Visitors Center, to be built outside the north gate.

The Academy reports that it issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) in 2016 to build the new Visitors Center. Although the Academy received three responses, it later cancelled the RFQ "after determining the proposals did not meet all the project requirements."

The Academy then issued a second RFQ in July 2017. Proposals were due Dec. 8, 2017. Two responses were submitted. The Academy offered no additional information, including which proposal was chosen or a timeline of construction.

Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority Executive Director Jariah Walker says he's heard two proposals were submitted and that an office at the Pentagon will choose. "I believe we’re going to be shortly finding out what one that is," he said in an interview last week. "Last I checked, they had selected one. But I don’t have the full details."

The Urban Renewal Authority is the financial vehicle for $120.5 million in state sales tax money over 30 years that will be provided to the city for City for Champions via the Regional Tourism Act.

The other projects are a downtown sports stadium, the U.S. Olympic Museum and the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

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