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Terminal building, runway upgrades approved at Rowan County Airport

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A pair of upgrades at the Rowan County Airport moved one step closer to completion on Monday.

County Commissioners approved the design for a renovation and expansion of the airport’s terminal building and an engineering contract for runway resurfacing. Construction costs for the renovation and expansion have been pegged at $285,000, but commissioners will need to solicit bids to determine the official cost. Meanwhile, the engineering contract will result in roughly $309,000 paid to the firm Talbert, Bright and Ellington.

The less expensive of the two projects — the terminal building — will involve adding more than 800 square feet of building space and renovating 600 square feet of existing space, said architect Bill Burgin. Contractors will be asked to build a new, larger conference room, turn the existing conference room into a pilots lounge and create an office out of the existing pilot’s lounge.

County officials have said the terminal building project is needed to provide adequate space for private companies to hold meetings on site. At times, meetings in the existing conference rooms space become cramped.

During Monday’s meeting, there were relatively few questions about the project from county commissioners. Commissioner Craig Pierce questioned Burgin about whether cabinetry and other fixtures that could be used for catering would be included in designs. Burgin responded affirmatively.

After Monday’s meeting, County Manager Aaron Church said the county would likely know exact costs for the renovation by June 1.

Church said county commissioners have indicated a preference for using a sales tax on services such as car repairs to pay for the renovation and addition.

The runway resurfacing project will be several times more expensive than the renovation and addition. Once engineering fees are include, the resurfacing will be more than $3 million.

Resurfacing will involve creating a crown in the center of the runway and adding grooves to prevent pooling of precipitation. It’s a different project than a proposed runway extension, which will be even more expensive.

County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds called it “the next best thing” to a runway extension.

The engineering contract approved Monday will pay Talbert, Bright and Ellington $308,714. In return, the engineering firm will oversee design, bidding and construction of the project.

County officials will use a $2.74 million grant and $304,700 in matching funds to pay for engineering and construction costs.

On Monday, Church said a commissioners vote to approve the contract would result in Talbert, Bright and Ellington designing the runway resurfacing work. A design would come back to commissioners for approval. Then, the engineering firm would solicit bids for construction.

Before the contract’s unanimous approval, Edds asked that the engineering firm present a timeline for completion of the resurfacing.

County Commissioner Mike Caskey asked whether there would be prolonged closured associated with the resurfacing.

Church said there may be some “very limited closures.” He said anyone affected by closures would be notified in advance. Most of the resurfacing work is expected to take place at night.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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