'Only positive feedback" has come in since the unveiling last week of the U.S. Olympic Museum's design, according to Kristen Downs, museum director of administration.
Planned for 1.7 southwest downtown acres donated by Nor'wood Development Group, the museum is one of four projects included in the Springs' City for Champions tourism venture. Last Thursday, organizers revealed museum renderings drafted by the architectural design firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro of New York, and architect of record Anderson Mason Dale Architects of Denver.
The futuristic 60,000-square-foot building will feature lots of glass and a straight pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks into America the Beautiful Park, a design that the museum board says "will embody the forward-looking values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and feature 20,000 square feet of exhibit space, a state-of-the-art theater, gift shop, café and broadcast studio."
Elizabeth Diller, principal at Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, says in a press release that the design "spirals up and outwards from a central atrium, drawing the public in at its base and propelling them up through the galleries."
Gallagher and Associates of Washington, D.C., will design the exhibits, including a "Journey to Excellence" featuring Olympians' personal stories; a "Science & Technology Lab" focusing on how sports science helps athletes; and a "U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame" celebrating the nation's best athletes and coaches, among others.
The museum project will break ground a year from now and open prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Museum board president Dick Celeste predicts in the release that it will be "one of the nation's must-see destinations." And via email, Downs adds, "The community is very excited about the museum."
The city estimates that 350,000 people will visit the museum per year, according to its application for state funding, with 82 percent coming from outside Colorado, although a state-hired consultant called the attendance figure "aggressive" and estimated only 60 percent would come from out of state.
The U.S. Olympic Museum group, a nonprofit formed to build the attraction, has raised $42 million of its $80 million goal. The project is to be partially funded with sales tax money approved by the state Economic Development Commission in late 2013.
GE Johnson of Colorado Springs will serve as general contractor.