Murphy Construction embarks on Pioneers Museum project

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Murphy Constructors of Colorado Springs began work on the first of a five-phase restoration project at the Pioneers Museum this week.

Scaffolding and bucket trucks will begin appearing on the site, and workers will occasionally be seen rappelling along the sides of the Museum’s clock tower, according to Museum Executive Director Matt Mayberry.

“We have active leaks coming into the building right now, so that was our first priority. Much of the exterior stone work is also deteriorating badly,” Mayberry said, adding that the entire five-phase project will cost about $1 million.

That deterioration is hardly surprising as the building was constructed in 1903. It housed the Clerk and Recorder’s Office until 1961 and the El Paso County Courthouse until 1972. After sitting vacant for a few years, it eventually became home to the Pioneers Museum in 1979.

The grant-funded work will include roof repairs, restoration of exterior metals, and maintenance of electrical systems. Murphy Constructors has teamed with the Slaterpaull Architects on the project.

Murphy Constructors Vice President Kevin Murphy said the project has special significance for his father, Chuck Murphy, who founded the company. Chuck Murphy’s father, Marty, practiced law when the building served as a courthouse.

Work on the first phase must be completed within 160 days, but the general contractor hopes to finish early.

Murphy Constructors has compiled an extensive portfolio of restored and updated buildings in the Pikes Peak region that are also listed on the state and national historic registries.

Some of those include the Union Printers Home, Cripple Creek Historic Museum, Barker House and Cliff House in Manitou Springs, the Patty Jewett Golf and Clubhouse, the Phantom Canyon Brewery building and the Historic Manitou Spa as well as several downtown Victorian transformations.

Such specialized work may include replacing worn woodwork that has to be custom-milled. Especially in restoring turn-of-the-century Victorians, buildings often have to be reduced to their skeletal components and re-fitted with new wiring and mechanical systems.

“You have to pay more attention to detail, take into account the significance of the historic structure itself. It may cost more to do, but in the end, you have a more valuable building,” he said.

Classic Homes

makes top list

In a slow new-home sales market, customer satisfaction levels can make or break a builder.

One Colorado Springs company learned this week it has been hitting the mark.

Classic Homes once again captured J.D Power and Associates’ 2010 U.S. New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction honors.

For the first time in the study’s 14-year history, Classic was named top in the market for quality construction. In addition, the survey ranked the company first for the fourth year in a row for overall satisfaction, said Classic Homes President Joe Loidolt.

“This is the one (survey) we watch the closely because it’s mailed directly to the buyer,” he said. Classic Homes also conducts its own internal surveys with customers.

The New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study considers nine factors drive overall customer satisfaction with new-home builders: workmanship/materials; builder’s warranty/customer service staff; price/value; builder’s sales staff; construction manager; home readiness; recreational facilities provided by the builder; builder’s design center; and location.

On a national level, J.D.Power found that although the recovery of the U.S. housing market appears to have stalled in many areas of the country, customer satisfaction with new-home builders has improved for a third consecutive year, and new-home quality has improved for a second consecutive year.

Contact Becky Hurley at 719-329-5235 or email her at Friend her on Facebook.