Thursday, November 4, 2010

UPDATE II: Deal in the works to keep the Space Foundation here

Posted By on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Mike Kazmierski with the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp. says the deal to provide a building for the Space Foundation is still pending because the financing hasn't quite fallen into place yet.

"The funding sources have not been publicly discussed nor approved by anyone other than a portion of the funding that we have requested from the state," he writes in an e-mail. "We have asked many others but no board approved confirmations yet."

The building reportedly is in the Garden of the Gods corridor, but Kazmierski didn't identify a location.

Earlier today, Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham issued a statement about the nonprofit's search for a new building:

"The Space Foundation is actively engaged in a search for a more capable headquarters that will allow us to contribute more to the community, and better serve our needs for the future, than our present facility. We are being actively supported by the EDC and other community leaders. While it is too early to announce anything, we hope to be in a position to do so before the end of the year."

Kazmierski told county commissioners this morning efforts are under way and an announcement is expected next month about a deal to provide a new building free of charge to the Space Foundation, which has been in Colorado Springs since its inception roughly 20 years ago with seed money from the benevolent El Pomar Foundation.

Councilman Scott Hente says the city isn't involved in this effort as far as he knows. "You're hitting me kind of cold," he says. "I do't know of any deal with the city." But Hente said he's glad to hear something is being done to assure the Space Foundation stays here. "Power to them," he says.

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During his talk with commissioners, Kazmierski said the arrangement is "much like the USOC (U.S. Olympic Committee) to see the Space Foundation is here to stay."

The city paid more than $30 million by issuing debt last year to provide a downtown building to the USOC and to upgrade the Olympic Training Center. It was a highly controversial deal that drew an avalanche of criticism from residents.

The Space Foundation, which has been threatening for years to move from its building off Highway 24 to Nebraska or some other place. Besides holding the annual Space Symposium here, the Space Foundation also holds an event in Omaha.

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