Mixed reactions for neighbors near new sports center plans

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-25 20:27:43-04

The city of Colorado Springs is hoping to take its ‘Olympic City USA’ branding a step further with the addition of 2 sporting facilities in the city by 2020. 

However, it will take the approval of the Colorado Economic Development Commission in order for anything to happen. 

‘I think the dynamics for downtown will be vitalizing, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,’ said Mayor John Suthers at a press conference Wednesday morning. 

As the plan stands, a stadium for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks would be built on a lot off of Cimarron- across from the Warehouse restaurant downtown. 

Additionally, Weidner Apartment Homes has agreed to build an apartment complex directly across the stadium. 

Neighbors in that area, have some concern for the potential new developments. 

For Jennifer Fenninger, she worries it could have an impact on her business in the area. 

Fenninger is a hair stylist, she moved her business ‘Strands Medical Wigs,’ to Sawatch St. 14 years ago- Fenninger creates wigs for cancer patients- in addition to taking care of hair for clients with other medical conditions. 

With the possibility of a new apartment complex and a stadium, Fenninger worries about her patients who she sees in what’s now a quiet area. 

‘I can’t have that,’ said Fenninger, ‘My clients are already going through a tough time, to be troubled with construction or road closures, it won’t be good,’ said Fenninger. 

Another big concern for her is the parking in the area, she says already when there are events at nearby businesses- people will park in front of hers. 

The cost for the project will be about $100 million, the apartment complex and stadium will be about $60 million. 

$27.7 million of the funds are coming from the state’s RTA funding, along with $10 million coming from a bond.

$18.5 million will be going to the stadium project, and $9.2 million will be going to the Colorado College events center. 

For Colorado College students, the move means for the first time ever they’ll get to see the hockey team on campus. 

The majority of the funding for the Colorado College project is coming from private donations from alum Ed Robson, The Lyon family, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, and others. 

Under the current plan, the arena would be built on a block owned by the college- bordered by Nevada Ave, Cache Le Poudre, Tejon, and Dale Streets. 

College representatives say the building will be situated in the block, but will not take up the entire block.

Demolition will likely be involved to make room for the events center.