The Omaha District is currently partnering with the U.S. Air Force to renovate the Cadet Field House athletic facility at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This facility has been a cornerstone of athletic and academic life since its construction in the mid-1960s and has not undergone a major renovation since it was built.
The facility currently houses Clune Arena, a 6,002-seat basketball court, Cadet Ice Arena, a 2,502-seat ice hockey rink, a 293-yard six-lane indoor track with seating for 925 spectators, a 97-yard AstroTurf playing field, and a 2,309-square-foot athletic training room. More than just an athletic facility, the field house plays a role in fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among cadets. It often serves as a community space for various academy events, from sports competitions to ceremonies and social gatherings.
The facility is being upgraded to align with current NCAA Division I standards. Renovations include new basketball court flooring and powered primary basketball goals, updated hockey arena dasher boards, renovated facility locker rooms, and replacement of the entire HVAC system. Additionally, there will be general flooring rehabilitation and the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the facility. Exterior work includes roof replacement, roof anchor installation, and the expansion of roof drainage systems. The building envelope will be sealed, and fire-rated coatings will be applied to the existing steel roof structures to enhance fire resistance.
Construction also includes a state-of-the-art hydraulic banked running track. This specialized athletic track features an adaptable running surface that allows coaches and athletes to raise and lower the track surface at each end to specific angles of embankment, incorporating slope into the turns. This modernized feature helps athletes maintain their speed on turns and aids in minimizing potential injuries.
While the primary focus of the different phases of construction, that began back in 2021, address the upgrade of mechanical systems, fixtures and lighting throughout the building, as well as remediation of existing life safety issues and code deficiencies, each phase also provides improvements in isolated areas of the building to meet programmatic requirements identified by the USAFA Athletic Department. Upon completion, the Cadet Field House will fully support the rigorous athletic training requirements of NCAA Division I standards, allowing the USAFA to host Division I athletic tournaments in the future.
The United States Air Force Academy upholds an incredibly storied history of prestige and tradition. The academy was authorized in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhauer and has been continuously graduating hundreds of newly commissioned U.S. Air Force officers annually in support of the national security of our Nation. This project underscores the commitment to developing leaders of character who exemplify the Air Force's core values of “integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District regularly partners with other Department of Defense agencies in these endeavors. These renovations enable the academy to continue providing world-class athletic training facilities for cadets, preparing them to excel as airmen in the most challenging environments.
This $133 million project began in 2018 and is scheduled to be complete by 2025.