Pikes Peak Summit Complex Newsletter 
October 2020
Mayor Suthers Explores Summit Complex Progress

Anxious to view progress of the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex firsthand, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers accompanied a group of news reporters for a late September tour of the project site. "This is one of the projects you'll look back and tell your grandkids about," construction superintendent Robert Clough told the mayor.
Construction of the Pikes Peak Summit Complex is progressing well given the altitude and weather factors, with crews working to seal the building from the elements so they can work on internal finishes through the colder months ahead.

Windows put through high-wind testing have recently been installed with more on the way. The windows were manufactured to withstand wind speeds of 230 miles per hour. The emerging summit complex now has permanent power while a wastewater treatment plant is also coming along. Internal framing and spray foam insulation are currently going into place while all the interior concrete has been placed. Other external features are nearing completion.

The city lists the summit complex project as the "highest ongoing construction site in North America."  
This is a unique, immersive, and demanding building project. Pikes Peak's elevation presents logistic and health challenges. Lower oxygen levels in the air mean everyone working on the project has to undergo a thorough physical exam. The challenges of the project don't stop there. Working on the summit complex requires additional training and many crew members are experts in their individual fields.The climate also creates unique challenges during construction. Snow is a possibility year-round and hurricane force winds are common. Thunderstorms and lightning are frequent during the summer. Even during the summer, temperatures can still dip below freezing at night.

Completion of the Pikes Peak project is anticipated in May 2021, with final work on the site set to wrap up later that summer.

Fundraising continues to gain momentum, with only $3 million left to be raised. In support of the campaign for The Pikes Peak Summit Complex, all gifts receive recognition on the digital donor wall inside the new summit complex. Other gifts are recognized with inscribed plaques.  For example, a $500 gift includes an opportunity to recognize yourself or a loved one by name on one of the exterior platform planks. Donors have contributed more than $12 million to the campaign to date, bringing us 80% of the way to our $15 million fundraising goal. Your contribution will be pivotal to achieving this goal-and to fulfilling the vision of a Summit Complex worthy of an American treasure.
My Mountain | Ambassador
For Ron Ilgen, who over the years has seen the growth of the Pikes Peak Marathon, the summit complex comes with an increased sense of pride and love for Pikes Peak. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Thank you, Ron Ilgen for being an Ambassador for Pikes Peak - America's Mountain! 
Sunrise at the Top of Pikes Peak I 2020

CLICK HERE to view Sunrise at the Top of Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak Summit Complex Interpretive Exhibits 
Outside of the new summit complex, visitors can explore the many outdoor features and enjoy the spectacular views. On the roof terrace and inside the lobby, rail panels provide general information about the mountain's geology, history, and current use. These elements are designed so that visitors still get a clear picture of Pikes Peak even if they do not go inside to experience the Summit Visitor Center exhibits.
Gallagher and Associates, an internationally recognized museum planning and design firm, worked to create interpretive design elements that add a sense of fun and drama, playing off the breathtaking views. The exhibits capitalize on the natural educational opportunities. The permanent indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits will describe the mountain's history, climate and geography, recreational opportunities, conservation initiatives, and more

The goal: to create an educational journey for visitors, structured around the history and events that shaped this landmark-to offer a sense of ownership of Pikes Peak.
In an exhibit gallery inside the summit complex. Photo credit: RTA Architects and Gallagher & Associates

Pacific Studio joined the Pikes Peak Summit Complex project last October. 

Pacific Studio began building and reviewing prototypes, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic they shifted to meeting with the rest of the team online. 

View of the interior reader rail demonstrates the relationship between it and the structure.
Fabrication of the exterior exhibits started this summer.

More unique to the exhibits are the Pylon structures combining an object case, an interactive touchscreen and graphics. The Gallagher & Associates team has completed graphic files and will start producing the interior exhibits this fall.
Digital Exhibits

Northern Light Productions (NLP) is responsible for initial digital exhibit concepts, scriptwriting, graphic design, original video production, archival research, video editing, and software programming for all media pieces. In developing the media pieces, NLP worked closely with Sandy Elliott, Operations Administrator for Pikes Peak - America's Mountain and the Pikes Peak Summit Complex Project team, content experts, and tribal representatives.

While fabrication drawings were getting underway, Mode Systems worked with Northern Lights Productions, the audiovisual developers, to prepare for a demonstration of the initial versions of videos and interactives.

Theater Film
A short, evocative video projection inside the new summit complex theater will  introduce visitors to the majesty and energy of Pikes Pike, which has continually drawn people to its unique summit - from the early inhabitants, explorers, and fortune-seekers to the tourists, nature lovers and athletes of today.

NLP filmed the production at Pikes Peak during 2019 and 2020 to capture all four seasons on the mountain. A combination of original and archival footage tells the story of Pikes Peak, with spare, reverential narration and a soaring soundtrack to reinforce the sense of awe and wonder of the mountain. At times, the screen fills seamlessly with stunning panoramic shots; at others, montages of shots will travel across the screen. Stunning time-lapse photography, match dissolves between seasons, and sweeping aerials will evoke the mountain's natural beauty. Evocative music, sound effects, and historical quotes enliven the narrative, all contributing to an energetic tone embodying the adventuring and exploring spirit of the American West and the period of discovery and expansion in the United States.

My Pikes Peak Touchwall 
(NOTE: Image shared is a rendering and not the final wall. Content is placeholder. Photo credit: Northern Lights Productions)

Visitors can see what makes Pikes Peak "America's Mountain" at the My Pikes Peak Touchwall. Comprised of seven 55-inch portrait-oriented mounted monitors the touch wall is a dynamic and ever-changing display that showcases visitors' images and hometowns.

The centerpiece of the touchwall is a world map with pins representing hometowns of summit visitors. By touching the map, visitors can enter their name and hometown and drop a pin.

Surrounding the map is an image collage of Pikes Peak today and yesterday. Visitors can share and tag images on social media. Images are curated by Pikes Peak and added to the wall to be constantly refreshed and new. 
Reclaimed Water - First Treatment Systems in Colorado

"The new summit complex will have a closed-loop wastewater system serving the toilets that allows solids to be removed and composted offsite while the water is reused again and again," said Jack Glavan, Pike's Peak manager.

The wastewater system is the second of its kind in the state, Glavan said. Cutting water use at the summit is particularly crucial because fresh water for the building must be trucked in and wastewater trucked out. The new system will reduce water truck trips from 127 to 72 annually and wastewater trips from 174 to 69, according to RTA Architects, lead architects on the project. 

The conservation measure will produce a waste stream treated by the localized reclaimed water treatment system located in the lower level of building. This will be one of the first systems in Colorado treating wastewater to reclaimed standards and reusing the reclaimed water within the building for toilet flushing. This is a key step in being able to use reclaimed water to flush toilets in the building, an important aspect of the sustainable design, a primary focus of the project that will save more than 350,000 gallons of water per year over the former system. The only other entity to achieve this approval is Denver Water. Use of reclaimed water in Colorado became legal in November 2018. The innovative treatment system is proposed to incorporate membrane treatment technology and will produce category III reclaimed water, estimated to account for approximately 37% of total water use in the Summit Visitors Center.
CLICK HERE to check out what's going on atop America's Mountain right this minute. View a LIVE camera feed from contractor GE Johnson and keep up with the amazing construction progress of the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex!

While construction is deemed a critical activity by the state, we are taking extra precautions to keep our Pikes Peak project team safe. Posters from the Center for Disease Center hang onsite to remind workers to stay home if they are sick, be diligent regarding handwashing, and practice social distancing. Practices for this site includes increased cleaning of site common areas and Personal Protective Equipment; staggered start times and mealtimes; and dispersed work groups of ten people or less. Project leadership continues to track and follow federal, state, and local healthcare guidance to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

On "The Extra", host Shannon Brinias and guests, Stuart Coppedge, lead architect for the Pikes Peak Summit Complex Project with RTA Architects, and Sandy Elliott, Operations Administrator for Pikes Peak - America's Mountain, discussed the construction progress of the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex, a 38,000-square-foot complex which includes a newly designed and constructed Summit Visitor Center, mechanical space and the Colorado Springs Utilities communications facility. The U.S. Army is also constructing a new High-Altitude Research Laboratory, which they will fund. The existing Summit House, constructed in 1963, will remain fully operational to visitors throughout the construction process. The new Summit Visitor Center, designed by local firm RTA Architects in partnership with GWWO Architects of Baltimore, is being constructed by local contractor GE Johnson. The museum and planning design firm of Gallagher & Associates has provided design of the interpretive displays.

The show focused on the project status, what visitors can expect next year,  how this project will be more sustainable, the Living Building Challenge environmental sustainability goal, project funding and several ways to get involved in giving to the summit project. 

CLICK HERE to listen to "The Extra"

This mobile app, developed by Northern Light Productions invites visitors to explore the natural history and beauty of the Pikes Peak summit.

In the Summit Map Challenge, there are 14 summit locations where visitors can experience spectacular views with reader rails. Tap each location on the map to get a question. For example, at the reader rail facing the Garden of the Gods, visitors are asked, "In what year did Julia Archibald Holmes camp at the Garden of the Gods before summiting Pikes Peak?" Entering the correct answer, found at the reader rail, unlocks a sticker. Visitors can the use the app to add stickers to photos and share them on the My Pikes Peak touchwall inside the new Summit Complex. 

The Nature Gallery is another way to explore many of the plants and animals found in Pikes Peak's four life zones, from the foothills to the summit. 

October construction updates:
  • Place all exterior building slabs by early November
  • Structural metal gutter installed and metal seam roofing completed with flashing
  • Window system 90% complete
  • Exterior stone fa├žade and interior spray foam insulation complete in late October and interior stone and floor tile work to begin
  • Lobby interior stringers and pan stairs to be installed
  • Colorado Springs Utilities/Federal antennas have been installed permanently onto the building. Tower by the old HARL removed
  • Mechanical connections to be completed in the mechanical room late October
  • Interior Drywall and painting to be completed at back of house / kitchen.
  • Site concrete swale install to begin with goal of being complete by early November
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Illustration - photo credit RTA Architects and DHM Design


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