4-year restoration project on Cadet Chapel starts in 2018

  • Published
  • By Ray Bowden
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

Major restorations on the Cadet Chapel should begin in the summer of 2018.

The project includes fixing the leaks that have plagued the structure since it opened in 1963.

“Renovations are necessary because the structure is nearly 53 years old and has leaked consistently since it was constructed,” said Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. “The repairs are essential to preserve this National Historic Landmark for future generations.”

Along with fixing the leaks, workers will replace the chapel’s aluminum housing, reinforce the structure, install a redundant water barrier, and remove and clean the 24,000 stained glass pieces contained the building’s design.

This will be the first large scale overhaul for the chapel since it opened in 1963. The work is expected to cost $58 million to $68 million.

Johnson said alternate worship locations are being prepared to accommodate the diverse array of faith groups at the Academy.

 “The Cadet Chapel is the most-visited man-made attraction in the state of Colorado,” Johnson said. “By taking the time to do this renovation, we will ensure the chapel remains so for decades to come.”

The Academy is designing a video to show visitors the progress of the construction.

More updates will follow this report.  


Cadet Chapel Facts

· Construction was completed in 1962

The chapel was awarded the American Institute of Architects' National Twenty-five Year Award in 1996

The chapel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2004

The chapel is 150-foot high, 280 feet long and 84 feet wide

The chapel has 17 spires. Each spire consists of a 75-foot long tubular steel frame weighing five tons

The chapel staff hosts an estimated 500,000 visitors each year