JE Dunn Construction has received a contract from the Department of Defense for a $158 million renovation of the famous Air Force chapel in Colorado Springs, the company announced Thursday. The renovation of the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel will be extensive, and the company plans to create an enclosed structure around the chapel as they disassemble the building. Work will start in October and be completed in fall 2023.
Built in 1963, the chapel was designed by Chicago-based architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP — the same company currently designing the single-terminal renovation of Kansas City International Airport. The chapel is the most visited manmade landmark in Colorado and was named a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 2004. The 52,000-square-foot chapel includes a Protestant chapel, a Catholic chapel, a Jewish synagogue, a Muslim mosque, a Buddhist temple, a Falcon Circle and All Faiths rooms in addition to two sizeable pipe organs.
The 150-foot chapel is known for its metal spires — 17 to be exact — which will be disassembled and refurbished. Another Kansas City-based company, A. Zahner & Co. will be replacing the metal panels. Zahner is famous for its engineering of steel and aluminum in renowned architectural projects.
Project Executive Craig Stearns said in a release that JE Dunn had to show its experience in historical renovations and the niche ability to restore large pipe organs. The proposal process took about 19 months to complete. "JE Dunn studied this project for five years, brought in talent from five offices and had over 50 JE Dunn professionals working on the competition," Senior Vice President Margaret Bowker said in the release.