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Remodeling of historic church to last till February

       It's far from redeveloping an entire city block - the plan that was approved by Colorado Springs officials in early 2017.

Scaffolding for stucco and painting crews added to the aspect of the historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church this fall as part of a major interior/exterior remodel that's scheduled to last until February.
Westside Pioneer photo

       But the current remodel of Sacred Heart Catholic Church is hardly a minor project.
       It's been an attention-getter this fall, with scaffolding some 60 feet high in front of the 95-year-old Spanish-style building's twin domes at Colorado Avenue and 21st Street, with workers applying fresh paint and stucco.
       Father Ron Raab mused about the reactions of passersby, that they were probably saying, “oh my gosh, they are doing something.”
       The building's interior is receiving major attention too. The boiler is being replaced and air conditioning being added. The floor and ceiling are being redone, and there will be new lighting, furniture and woodwork.
       For the church members as a whole, the changes since July have meant relocating mass to the fellowship hall in Sacred Heart's former two-story grade school - built in 1954 just north of the church and now used mostly for office space - and helping with a $2.9 million capital campaign for the project.
       Project completion is scheduled in February, Raab said.
       The general contractor is Nunn Construction.
       The project is not expanding the church's roughly 400-person seating capacity. The new pews will be installed farther apart, making them more handicapped-accessible. But the potential loss of space will be balanced out by converting the former choir loft into pews, Raab explained.
       Also contributing to handicapped-accessibility, a stair-free entrance is being created on the east side of the building, connecting with a new walkway from the parking lot.
       The plan approved by the city would have also allowed (over time) demolishing the 1954 building and rectory just east of the church, constructing a new two-story building (for offices and rectory), redoing the church parking layout and eliminating the narrow east-west alley between the church and 1954 building.
       From the above list, only the alley elimination is part of the current project. The drive was considered too narrow and dangerous to keep open, Raab said. The parking lot can still be accessed by the driveway off Colorado Avenue and two others off Pikes Peak Avenue.
       Sacred Heart owns the entire 2.5-acre block, which includes the land that the medical building sits on (beside Colorado and 20th). But that building is separately owned, and even the church's original plans did not call for changing it.
       Raab said the original plans had to be scaled back when preliminary work revealed previously undiscovered soil and asbestos issues that put the cost beyond reach.

Westside Pioneer article