BUCKHANNON – With just a slight delay due to poor weather conditions, officials with the Buckhannon-Upshur Airport Authority board are anticipating the latest construction work at the airport to be completed by the end of May.
In late January, work began on the improvement project that will equip the Upshur County Regional Airport with a terminal building that will serve as a central hub for pilots, passengers and residents.
The project’s total cost is $723,232 with 90 percent of that amount being funded through Federal Aviation Administration grants.
“We’re about halfway done now,” said Bill Thomas, airport authority board president, during a recent interview with My Buckhannon. “The estimated time it should be completely done is by the end of the month.”
The approximate 1,400-plus square foot terminal building will be comprised of a pilot’s lounge, a waiting area for passengers and visitors, restrooms and an office for a future base operator.
The exterior of the building will encompass the same look as the airfield itself, said Thomas, but will also have design elements of downtown Buckhannon.
Currently, the skeleton of the building and metal framework has been completed.
“What they’re doing right now is they’ve started the brick and exterior work, and that takes about two weeks,” Thomas said.
With just a couple weeks shy of when he thought the project would be completed, Thomas said he’s pleased with the outcome, and no changes in plans were made.
“We didn’t change a thing on it, everything stayed the same,” he said. “The only thing we’re doing now is we’re waiting for them to get done, and of course we’ll do all the work around, like the grass and plants after the building is up, but outside of that everything’s pretty much as we talked about it.”
Once the building is completed, Thomas said the public will be invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“We want the citizens to come up and view and enjoy it because our airport is unique in the sense that you’ve got quite a distance up there,” he said. “You can see mountains for miles away, but the most important thing is with having the terminal lounge, the windows are designed to where even children can stand in the building and look out … and they can watch the planes coming and going and you never know, it might insight someone to say ‘hey, that’s something I’d like to do.’”