Cherokee Federal employee and veteran

Cherokee Federal supports historic restoration of US Air Force Cadet Chapel in Colorado

August 11, 2021

Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs (CNSP), a Cherokee Federal company, is supporting a $158 million construction contract to restore the Cadet Chapel at the U.S. Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The chapel first opened its doors in 1963 as an all-faith center of worship. The building can accommodate five religious services at once  its three levels and separate entrances allow services to occur simultaneously.

CNSP supports federal clients in executing their critical, strategic and operational programs. The company was selected for this unique project based on its previous experience providing design and construction support — on time and under budget —for some of the Air Force’s most complex projects.  

The primary objectives of the chapel restoration project are to eliminate leaks, repair damage to pews, floors and pipe organs and update the electrical controls. This work will enable future functionality and restore the chapel to its historical intent and original luster.

A veteran and acclaimed architect is credited with the building’s iconic design. After years of service in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walter Netsch Jr. developed his iconic architectural aesthetic that uses complex geometry to create spaces, which is featured in the Cadet Chapel architecture.

This National Historic Landmark attracts more than 1 million visitors a year. Decisions on the restoration of the chapel are made by the U.S. Air Force Academy, the National Parks Service and the Colorado State Historic Preservation Officer.

Restoration of the historic chapel is taking place within a temporary enclosure  allowing for a temperature-controlled work area. This enclosure covers the entirety of the Cadet Chapel, which consists of 17 spires that reach 150 feet into the air and 100 tetrahedrons, each 75 feet long and weighing five tons. The gaps between the tetrahedrons are filled with Dalles de Verre colored glass.

The chapel is expected to reopen in March 2024.


About the Cadet Chapel

The U.S. Air Force Academy campus was built during the Cold War era. In 1996, the Cadet Chapel won the Twenty-Five Year Award from the American Institute of Architects and in 2004, was named a U.S. National Historic Landmark. In 2014, the chapel was named one of CNN’s most epic churches in America.

The Cadet Chapel hosts more than 100 weddings annually for graduates, active-duty Airmen in Colorado, and Purple Heart and Silver Star recipients. With more than one million visitors per year, the chapel is Colorado’s number-one, man-made visitor attraction. Volunteers from the Colorado Springs area give more than 2,500 hours each year to educate visitors about the chapel and the legacy of the Air Force Academy.

About Cherokee Federal

Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs is part of Cherokee Federal, a team of tribally owned federal contracting companies focused on building solutions, solving complex challenges and serving the nation’s mission around the globe for more than 60 federal clients. Cherokee Federal’s team of companies, with more than 3,300 employees, manages nearly 2,000 projects of all sizes across the construction, engineering and manufacturing and mission solutions portfolios – ranging from advanced data analytics and telehealth to cybersecurity, cloud and logistics.

Cherokee Federal is a division of Cherokee Nation Businesses, the economic engine of Cherokee Nation, the largest Native American tribe in the U.S. Its mission is to diversify and grow the economy of Cherokee Nation. Company profits support future business investments, as well as programs and services for tribal citizens. Cherokee Federal also believes in the value of a diverse workforce and in investing in the brightest talent to keep the company moving forward.


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