COLORADO SPRINGS — Planners of a military museum outside Fort Carson need $5.5 million in order to break ground on time this spring.
The (Colorado Springs) Gazette reports that the Mountain Post Historical Association wants to expand a museum outside Gate 1 to pay homage to each unit that has served at Fort Carson since the post was founded in 1942.
The association has raised $500,000. Additional money has been pledged to the project, and the Historical Association president hopes the donors come through as the museum's target ground-breaking date nears.
The museum's budget was cut to $6 million in 2011 from an initial proposal of more than $18 million. The change came after the Army pulled nearly $10 million from the project due to budget constraints.
"This is a tough time to be raising money anywhere," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Ed Soriano.
The association is considering five construction bids and is expected to award a contract for the museum expansion in December or January.
Weather and big donors permitting, the museum will open its doors in the spring of 2014.
Artifacts that will be housed in the 12,800-square-foot museum currently sit in a smaller temporary museum next to the post's visitors center.
The smaller museum houses a variety of military artifacts that will be featured in the bigger museum, including World War I and Vietnam War memorabilia.
The temporary museum, which opened in the summer of 2011, cost $750,000 to construct and was paid for with Army funds.