By TOM ROEDER THE GAZETTE
A 30-foot-high glass wall will reflect the image of Cheyenne Mountain at Fort Carson’s new history museum, if backers can raise $13 million in donations.
The museum design, envisioned by the Mountain Post Historical Society, has been in the works for more than a year.
The 30,000-square-foot structure would be built off Colorado Highway 115, outside the post’s main gate, and its exhibits would highlight Fort Carson’s military role from World War II to the present.
The design for the museum is being formally unveiled at a news conference today.
Supporters of the effort, including retired Army Lt. Gen. Ed Soriano, a former Fort Carson commander, say the museum will be a rallying point for soldiers and veterans and a place for children to learn about the role of the military in defending freedom.
Soriano said it will be a place where the community and soldiers can interact.
“It will strengthen the relationship between the civilian community and the military community,” Soriano said.
Lou Mellini, the museum society’s chairman, said the structure is intended to become a community icon, much like the Air Force Academy’s towering chapel.
“We’re building a house that will preserve the artifacts of Fort Carson and its soldiers, past, present and future,” Mellini said.
Leaders at Fort Carson and in the community have dreamed of a military museum for years.
The post has had several historic displays, but they were inside the gate beyond a security checkpoint, and inconvenient for the public to experience.
The new museum, in addition to being accessible, is expected to have state-of-the-art interactive displays similar to those at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
The unveiling of the museum design is a key to raising cash, said Mellini. Backers are expected to kick off a fundraising campaign they hope will pull in money from small private donors and big defense contractors.
“It will take the whole community of Colorado Springs and Pueblo to build this museum,” said Mellini.
The group wants to raise money in a hurry — with a planned groundbreaking within a year.
Soriano said if there’s a city that could come up with the money, it’s Colorado Springs.
“I have never seen better support for the military than I have here,” the general said. “Our relationship with the community is incredible.”
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