AFA chapel closure pushed back to September

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U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE (4/29):

The closure date has been pushed back again as the Air Force tries to find funding for repairs.

There's no word yet on where the funding might come from.

The academy said in a brief statement Monday that the planning team would "reevaluate as needed in order to keep the chapel open to the public as long as possible."

The chapel is currently slated to remain open through the first of September.

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PREVIOUS (1/20/19):

You still have time to visit one of Colorado Springs' most iconic attractions.

The Cadet Chapel will be open an extra six months while the Air Force Academy evaluates contract proposals for an upcoming repair project, the academy announced late last week.

Previously, the chapel's doors were going to be closed on Jan. 1 and remain shut for roughly the next four years. In a statement to media on Dec. 20, the AFA said the closure date had been pushed back to June 2019.

"Evaluation of the contract proposals for the repair project will take longer than planned, so we will keep the chapel open to support cadets and staff while continuing to allow visitors to enjoy it. We will provide updates once the contract evaluation process is complete," the academy said in the statement.

The closure is currently slated for June 17 -- nearly three weeks past graduation. As our news partners at The Gazette report, this means some seniors may have the chance to get married in the chapel, a long-standing post-graduation tradition. Cadets are not allowed to get married while attending the academy, but are allowed to date and get engaged.

As 11 News previously reported, the pending repairs are to address structural issues including chronic leaking, which has plagued the building since it was built in the 60s. The building's aluminum skin will be replaced and the 24,000 original stained glass pieces will be removed and cleaned during the massive overhaul.

Repair costs are expected to be at least $25 million and could be upwards of $100 million.

The chapel is ranked Colorado's number one human-made attraction and is registered as a National Historic Landmark. It's an all-faith worship center and includes Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist chapels within the building.

During the lengthy closure, cadets will be provided with alternative locations to worship.