Plans for Multi-Million Dollar NCWV Airport Terminal Go from Concept to Process of Hiring Design Firm

By Jeff Toquinto on February 15, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

A month after discussion was about the possibility to renovate an existing building at the North Central West Virginia Airport for a new $6 million terminal, officials agreed to take the next step. And, it’s a big one.
 
During Wednesday’s meeting of the Benedum Airport Authority, the airport’s governing body, it was agreed to put out a request for proposal to hire an architecture and engineering firm to design the structure. NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock was directed to put together a request for proposal to get the project moving.
 
“This is going to happen,” said Authority President Ron Watson. “We’ve talked about it for years, but it’s time. It shows we're on the move.”
 
During the January meeting of the Authority, members of the three-person terminal improvement committee talked about taking the KCI Aviation building and transferring it into a new terminal. It was the first time discussion didn’t focus on building a multi-million dollar new building on the opposite side of the runway.
 
The Authority was agreeable to the proposal brought forth by members Andy Lang, David Hinkle and Randy Kerns. Since that meeting Lang, who double as the Bridgeport mayor, said they had the airport’s engineer break down how the space would be utilized in the building and would it meet the needs.
 
“We went to Thrasher, our engineer and asked a simple question. (We asked) if you have a building that has so much square feet, how much square footage based upon your knowledge do you need for each component,” said Lang.
 
What Thrasher came back with was a very rough conceptual drawing. It showed, said Lang, the building was not too big for what was needed. More important, it was not too small or too expensive.
 
“Our goal is still to be around $6 million, which is about one-third less than the cost of a new terminal,” said Lang.
 
After that, Lang asked that the committee move ahead with getting an RFP out. The group will work with Rock to make that happen.
 
Lang and Hinkle said the trio on the committee is still meeting on a regular basis and will also be looking to meet with government leaders statewide and at the national level to help with funding. The airport also can use available Airport Improvement Project (AIP) dollars as well to help pay for the project.
 
Rock said the advertisement could go out as soon as next week. Lang said he wants to go as quickly as possible to have the selected design firm to look at the space even as KCI is moving out so that work can begin as soon as the building is vacant.
 
During the January meeting, Hinkle said the big thing is that the new terminal would not only consolidate operations on the commercial side in one building, but it would have two gates that would allow two airlines to operate independent of one another. Hinkle also said earlier this week that, if needed, space would be there for another gate in the event a third airline operated out of Bridgeport.
 
What that move also means is that ticket counters for airline services such as Allegiant and United Express (Skywest), TSA, security, rental car services, baggage handling and the gates for the terminal would be situated in the new terminal. Staff of the NCWV Airport would also likely to the new building, Lang said in January.
 
As for the existing building, general aviation operations would be relocated to that structure. The general aviation services, or the fixed based operation (FBO), handles the private planes and charters. Lang said last month that the existing building is too big for the FBO only so that the airport would have to explore what to do with the existing space on the second floor of the current terminal.
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Andy Lang showing a conceptual drawing to fellow Airport Authority members, while Authority President Ron Watson, left, and David Hinkle are shown in the second photo. Bottom photo shows the Authority members during Wednesday's session with NCWV Director Rick Rock's shown with his back to the photo in the foreground.
 


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