COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Eni R. Jaspersen Beach House at Prospect Lake in Memorial Park was granted $316,100 from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) this month. An ongoing project, the facility is expected to offer programming as early as this fall with completion of the exterior anticipated by spring 2021.
These funds are in addition to a $700,000 grant for the beach house received in 2018 from GOCO, which uses a portion of lottery proceeds to preserve, protect and enhance the state's wildlife, parks, rivers, trails and open spaces. Approximately $400,000 from capital improvement and office of accessibility funds as well as park land development fees brings the total renovation funding to roughly $1.4 million.
“Our vision is to provide year-round programming and reinstate the beach house as a community hub that everyone can access and use,” said Karen Palus, park, recreation and cultural services director. “We believe the contemporary experience will bring renewed volume and energy that will fulfill the original intention of this historic space for years to come. GOCO’s support has been critical to this revitalization, and we are grateful for its ongoing assistance in realizing impactful park projects, like this one, in Colorado Springs.”
The renovated beach house will feature indoor and outdoor learning spaces, an outdoor gathering area with boulder seating, an indoor great room for community events, beach volleyball, a lit patio and accessible beach access among other new amenities. The classroom spaces are expected to prove especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, as outdoor programming providers have expressed interest in hosting small group classes to supplement homeschooling and remote learning. The parks department is also exploring an option to host a concessionaire in the space.
Work to redesign the iconic beach house began in 2018, with a previously expected completion of spring 2020. The project was delayed in part due to funding shortfalls amidst unforeseen issues with the more than 80-year-old property.
The city stopped operating the beach house in 2010 due to budget cuts following the great recession. In 2012, it reopened when the city partnered with the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region to operate the beach area. The beach house closed again in 2019 due to construction.
Visit ColoradoSprings.gov/MemorialPark for more information about this project and other recent efforts to improve Memorial Park, including how the city is working to remedy a blue-green algae bloom in Prospect Lake with an enzyme-based treatment.