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Bancroft ramp to be installed in November; possible public meeting on MP in December

       A handicapped-access ramp is expected to take shape in back of the Bancroft Park bandshell in November.
       Also, a Colorado Springs Parks public meeting on previously announced Bancroft master-plan upgrades is tentatively planned for early December (no date announced at press deadline).
       The ramp will provide switchback access from the sidewalk to a door that was built into the back of the stage during renovations last summer by the Parks-hired contractor, Murphy Constructors.
       The ramp had been slated for completion in September, but after preliminary excavation a few weeks went by with just a hole there.
       “The contractor is working with a subcontractor to get in there and finish the excavation,” said Steve Bodette of Colorado Springs Parks in late October. Also, he pointed out other pre-ramp work: a utility line that had to be relocated and a gas line disconnected.
       “There's a lot happening in the construction world,” he summarized, estimating that the ramp would be done “within three weeks” (mid-November), weather permitting.
       The Bancroft bandshell became a City Council priority this year after a fire broke out on the stage late at night in January 2017. Murphy's $199,000 contract included fire-related building repairs, an upgraded electrical service and a roll-up door in front of the stage to prevent unauthorized access.
       In the process, City Parks worked up a master plan for redeveloping the park as a whole. Prominent elements, after two public meetings last April, involve building a restroom at the park's southeast corner, removing the pavilion, creating a plaza in its place, installing a small playground on the east side, narrowing the Colbrunn Court access to improve traffic control next to the park and enhancing the landscaping and lighting.
       The intent is for Collins to present design options on some or all of these elements at the public meeting. For example, Deitemeyer said Parks would like feedback on the restroom's aspect (“should it match the cabin or have a different style?”) or the direction it faces (toward Colorado Avenue or to the west).
       Contacted in October, Deitemeyer said early December could work for a meeting, but he wasn't sure. In any case, assuming Collins' work is ready soon, he doesn't want to delay. The city-approved master plan schedule shows all the Bancroft work completed before the Memorial Day 2018 weekend, but at this point Deitemeyer could only predict with confidence that the restrooms would be in by then.
       There is also the question of funding the redevelopment. About $300,000 is still available from city funds pledged to the park. Another $250,000 has been requested for 2018 from the city's LART tourism tax proceeds. The redevelopment cost itself cannot be estimated with any precision until final decisions are made on the park elements.

Westside Pioneer article