Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Academy chapel gets architectural companion

By: JAKOB RODGERS
October 20, 2012
0
photo - An artist rendering of the new Center for Character and Leadership Development at the Air Force Academy was on display next to a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, October 19, 2012. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) Photo by JERILEE BENNETT,  THE GAZETTE
An artist rendering of the new Center for Character and Leadership Development at the Air Force Academy was on display next to a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, October 19, 2012. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) Photo by JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE 

One-hundred-six feet tall. Forty-six-thousand square feet. One slightly off-kilter design feature.

Donning a hard hat, Lt. Gen. Mike Gould helped break ground Friday for the architectural counterpart to the Air Force Academy Chapel — a below-ground building topped by a towering glass structure that will house the academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development beginning in 2014.



Its defining characteristic: the 106-foot glass skylight’s 39-degree tilt toward Polaris, also known as the North Star.

Cadets plan to hold their honor board proceedings at the base of that skylight, with accused cadets facing squarely at true north, said Col. Joseph Sanders, the center’s director.
“It’s about remembering the significance of living a life that is guided and directed by a moral compass,” Sanders said.

The building represents one of a dwindling number of new facilities planned at the academy in the wake of billions in pending Defense Department budget cuts. A large vehicle inspection station at the south gate is all that remains on tap.

Private donors covered slightly more than a third of the center’s $43.9 million price tag — money that will be used to beautify the center and build the skylight, said Carlos R. Cruz-Gonzalez, the academy’s deputy director for installations.

Military funding accounted for the remaining $27.5 million. All but $4 million in pledged donations have come in. He expects those remaining donations to be paid in 2013, allowing the interior and landscaping to be finished in 2014.

When completed by EEC, the contracted construction company, the center will be flanked to the east and west by courtyards with trees and reflecting pools.
It will still stand lower than the academy’s chapel — a design trait meant to keep the chapel as the academy’s visual icon.

Inside, academy officials plan to host the Leaders in Flight Today seminar and possibly the academy’s annual National Character and Leadership Symposium.
Researchers focused on leadership skills also plan to use the building to study how best to develop incoming high school students into second lieutenants.

In the center of the building, cadets accused of breaking the academy’s honor code — which forbids, lying, cheating, stealing and tolerating those who break the code — will appear before their peers.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Gould said. “The real exciting thing is the work that will go on in this building and the impact it will have on the entire country.”


Contact Jakob Rodgers: 476-1654
Twitter @jakobrodgers
Facebook Jakob Rodgers

Comment Policy
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.