Airport Fire Colorado
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The Colorado Springs Airport was damaged by a fire April 16. Repairs were estimated at $5 million but will cost $7.5 million, the aviation director said Monday.

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Repairing fire damage at the Colorado Springs Airport will cost millions of dollars more than anticipated, Aviation Director Greg Phillips told the City Council on Monday.

Roofers were using propane torches April 16 to repair hail and wind damage on the terminal roof when they inflicted some damage of their own. The torches set off a three-alarm fire that forced the temporary closure of the airport.

Repairs were estimated at $5 million then, but they’ll cost $7.5 million, Phillips said, requesting permission to spend that much on repairs.

“Since that time, as we’ve peeled the onion back layer by layer, we’ve found more and more damage,” he said.

The airport, a city enterprise, has used insurance money to cover the cost, and the $2.5 million extra also will be paid by insurance claims, said Chris Wheeler, the city’s budget manager.

“To this date, we’ve spent not a penny of airport funds,” Phillips said. “And the expectation is that we will not spend airport funds for the remediation. Our full coverage policy is at $146 million, so we’ve got a ways to go before we hit that number.”

Restoration of airport staff offices was completed this week, and employees are moving back into their work spaces, Phillips said. Most repairs are expected to be finished by mid-November.

Councilman Don Knight said he wasn’t surprised by the increase. He praised the work underway, saying he reviewed some of the refurbished space last week after flying back to Colorado Springs.

Several other council members also said the repairs are coming along well.

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