Final Steel Beam Set on New NCWV Airport Terminal as Work on Roof, Interior of $25M Project to Begin

By Jeff Toquinto on September 15, 2023 via

It was more than two decades ago, prior to 9/11, when long-time Benedum Airport Authority member Roger Diaz talked at a meeting regarding a new terminal. The talk, although not new, had been dismissed by some.
Diaz, at the meeting, stood firm. He said it would. The only variable for a project some believed was “pie in the sky was time. The now 27-year member of the Authority insisted it may take years, even decades, but it was going to happen.
This morning, a few dozen officials involved with the North Central West Virginia Airport and the Airport Authority (the airport’s governing body) were joined by contractors, as the final steel beam was set on the new NCWV Airport Terminal that will be located just off of State Route 279 – Jerry Dove Drive. Among the onlookers, one of those who was able to sign the beam was Diaz.
“It’s a dream come true because we’ve worked so many years with minimum dollars to keep the airport afloat,” said Diaz. “In recent years, there have been so many people who have become deeply involved and here we are. To see this happen, something we’ve envisioned for years, is special. I’m just pleased to have been a small part of it.
The terminal project started in early April. The steel frame that will outline the building began going up less than a month ago. It’s part of a $25 million contract awarded to Mascaro Construction, which is a Pittsburgh-based company that was the low bidder on the project.
Some of the features in and around the new likely 42,000 square foot building (current terminal is 16,000 square feet) is plenty of parking that can be expanded. A full buildout would provide 750 spaces, which is up from the 400 parking spaces now used by the airport and shared with Mitsubishi.
The new waiting room will hold up to 300 passengers at one time. The apron will be designed to hold two Airbus A320s and two Canadair Regional Jets.
The new terminal will also be multi-stories. Passengers arriving in Bridgeport will depart their plane and then take an escalator to the next floor for baggage pickup. There will also be a large meeting room, like the one in the current building that for years housed a restaurant, for Authority meetings as well as for public use and perhaps rentals.
The building and property will have room for expansion. Baggage claim, ticketing areas, expansion of the gates from two planned to three more. The planned taxiway for the terminal can also be widened.
The next step to get that closer to reality took place with the placing of the final beam. For those wondering why the beam had a tree attached to it, NCWV Deputy Director Shawn Long said there is a reason for that.
“In the steel trade, the tree signifies that construction has reached the sky without loss of life or injury and brings good luck for future inhabitants of the building,” Long said.
Long said Mascaro is on time, on budget and the building should be under roof before the weather changes. The next step, he said, is to begin putting the floor down and work from the first floor up to the third floor and putting the roof in place.
The contract is one of eight that will be done as part of the ongoing efforts to have the new terminal in place. NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock said involves utilities being run to the terminal site as well as have it ready for the acreage for the Aerotech Industrial Park.
Rock said he believes the contractor for the utility work either has begun mobilizing or will soon. Doss was awarded a $986,355 contract for the work with a competition date set for the end of March.  
Along with the contracts for the airport, which is jointly owned by the Harrison and Marion County Commissions, Rock said he was pleased to learn the West Virginia Division of Highways is doing a three-phase project that will include turning lanes and three lanes for almost the entire length of Route 279. He said that helps it “all fall together.”
Work on the terminal and Jerry Dove Drive is not the only thing that will be going on in the area. Work on the first tenant beside the terminal at the West Virginia AeroTech Park, which is the location for the terminal and more, is set to begin.  Pierpont Community & Technical College recently announced they will build on six acres at the site. The College’s new aviation maintenance program will be housed there after a West Virginia Senate bill allocated $25 million to have it built.
“We have a good separation between the two and really, if anything, I think they’ll complement each other,” he said. “They have the potential to complement each other with some of the trades overlapping. It’s all about getting more jobs and more work up here.”
The goal, Rock said, is to have the terminal complete in the second half of next year. Members of the authority are pleased that a large portion of the project has been handled with federal grants, particularly through the FAA at around $20 million, have covered a significant portion of the costs. State and local dollars have also contributed to the efforts.
Editor's Note: Top photo shows workers setting the final beam, while the third photo shows the beam as it is about to be lifted. In the second photo, long-time Airport Authority member Roger Diaz puts his autograph on the beam. In hte bottom photo, members of the Airport Authority and key staff are show just prior to the beam's lifting. From left are Dean Ramsey, Andy Lang, Diaz, Ernie VanGilder, Mike Romano, David Hinkle, Rick Rock, and Shawn Long. 

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