Today kicks off a five-month restoration project at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum’s home, the 1903 El Paso County Courthouse.

The public will soon start to see scaffolding and bucket trucks around Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and workers rappelling along the sides of the Museum’s clock tower, said city spokeswoman Julie Smith.

The project contractor is Murphy Constructors of Colorado Springs and the architectural firm is Slaterpaull Architects.

The grant-funded work will include roof repairs, restoration of exterior metals and maintenance of electrical systems. This is the first phase of a projected four-phase project to restore the exterior of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

Plans for the project were developed following a grant-funded Historic Structures Assessment completed in 2005. That led to a planning study conducted in 2008. The $205,000 project is being funded entirely by grants and gifts, and will be completed in early 2011. No municipal taxpayer funding is included in the project, Smith said.

Financial supporters include the State Historical Fund, H. Chase Stone Trust and the Downtown Development Authority, along with a number of individual donations made through the El Paso County Enterprise Zone.

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The museum will remain open throughout the construction. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The museum is now accepting donations for the next phase of restoration and gifts are eligible for state income tax credits.