Coronado Parade pep rally to be first user of fixed-up Bancroft Park bandshell
Bandshell repairs totaling just under $200,000 are “nearing completion” and the stage-area work should be done by the end of August, according to David Deitemeyer, the Colorado Springs Parks planner assigned to the project. “Our intentions would be to have the stage available for use at this event.”
In its 37th year, the 10 a.m. parade down Colorado Avenue is the school's main off-campus public event annually, with about 40 entries from Coronado and its feeder schools. The festivities traditionally conclude with a pep rally in the 1.2-acre Old Colorado City park, featuring cheerleaders and announcers on the stage.
“Thanks to the City of Colorado Springs for getting everything ready to go for us,” enthused Coronado Principal Darin Smith.
Although it shouldn't affect the Coronado activity, one final element of Bancroft's bandshell work will continue into mid-September, Deitemeyer explained. This will be a new handicapped-accessible ramp leading to a door at the rear of the bandshell building.
City Parks decided to add that amenity, as previously the only way to access the stage was by the stairs on either side of it.
The bandshell was built in the 1930s. A fire - ruled as intentional though no suspects were ever named - charred the bandshell's interior and parts of the roof on a late night in January before the Fire Department was able to extinguish it.
Since then, several other major events in the park this summer (including the Taste of OCC, Organization of Westside Neighbors Picnic and Old Colorado City Customs & Classics Car Show) have had to improvise with their live bands, while the Paint the Town Blue music series relocated to Thorndale Park.
In addition to structural restoration, the recent bandshell improvements by contractor Murphy Con-structors included an electrical upgrade, a new roof (made of steel to look like the old wood shake shingles) and a white, roll-up security door intended to keep people from getting into the bandshell except during events.
Made of steel, the door “is low maintenance and highly durable,” Deitemeyer said.
The Parks Department staff has termed the bandshell repairs Phase 1 of a two-phase Bancroft master plan, which was drawn up in the wake of the fire. Phase 2 will consist of upgrades/ changes to the park as a whole
Preliminary Phase 2 efforts have already begun. These include surveying the park in preparation for construction drawings and moving toward hiring an architect to design the new restroom building, Deitemeyer outlined.
The old restrooms were under the bandshell and have been closed for months. In recent times, porta-johns off Pikes Peak Avenue have been provided. The new, stand-alone facility will be built at the southeast corner of the park (facing Colorado Avenue near 24th Street), plans show.
The rest of the Phase 2 plans include removing the pavilion and changing the resulting open area into a plaza, building a small playground, improving the electrical service and enhancing the landscaping.
All the work is slated for completion before summer 2018.
Two public meetings were held last April at the Westside Community Center, after which Parks staff finalized plans and gained master-plan approval from the City Council-appointed Parks Advisory Board.
Deitemeyer said another public meeting will probably be scheduled in late September “for additional dialog on the design elements of the park master plan.”
(The date, when it's determined, will be reported at westsidepioneer.com.)
The Bancroft funding is coming from a bandshell insurance policy, the city's share of state lottery proceeds (called conservation trust funds) and revenues from the city's Trails, Open Space and Parks tax. Additional funds have been requested from next year's city's LART tourism tax proceeds, which would bring the total amount of money for Bancroft (including what's already spent) to about $725,000.
Westside Pioneer article