MOUNT VERNON — Two Knox County Airport terminal projects and an airport electrical rewiring project are to start soon, now that the project is fully funded and three separate contractors are on board to handle the work, the president of the Knox County Airport Authority said Wednesday.
There are two terminal projects, Project A and Project B. Late last month, Knox County Commissioners approved a bid by Claggett & Sons Inc. of Newark at a cost of $119,480 to handle terminal Project A. to get underway in a matter of weeks, said Airport Authority President Chris Cordle. It involves renovating existing restrooms and a sliding entry way to make the airport compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). No handicapped accessible ramps are necessary because the terminal building, in place since 1966, is flat and easily accessed, but the project will entail work on plumbing and bathroom fixtures designed for access by those with physical disabilities.
County commissioners approved a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant earlier this year to fund Project A. The remaining $19,480 will come from community donations and airport funds, Cordle said.
“We are just now signing the contracts (with Claggett & Sons) so the project can proceed,” Cordle said.
Project B involves renovation to the existing lobby and office space, and a conference room addition to the terminal that will be a total of 672 square feet. It will be easily big enough to accommodate the kind of meetings the airport is known to have — busy executives who fly in to Knox County Airport, hold a meeting that may involve a quick trip to Mount Vernon or Kenyon College, and then fly back out.
“The meetings are held quickly and nobody even knows they are here,” Cordle said. “That’s really attractive in some situations,” he said, including when time is of the essence and privacy is at a premium.
The Airport Authority awarded Project B’s construction contract to James P. Finger Construction Co. of Mansfield, which will receive $239,475 for its work, Cordle said. That total does not include $18,000 being paid to Green Valley Design for architectural and engineering fees.
Project B did not have to be approved by the county commissioners because it is being paid through community donations and airport funds, Cordle said. A separate electrical project, complicated because it involves Federal Aviation Administration standards for electrical work, will cost nearly $90,000 with the work to be performed by Jeff Howard Electric.
Another airport project — the repaving of the airport’s 5,500 foot-long runway, which is being funded by the FAA at a cost of $4.2 million — is being rescheduled for next year, Airport Manager Josh Wynn said. The amount of time needed to get project details in place required extra time. The airport authority will provide a five percent match, or $210,000. The project will require the runway to be shut down for period of time, somewhere around two months, Cordle recently informed commissioners.
Total costs of all terminal work and electrical work is $466,480, of which $330,000 has come through donations, Cordle said, adding that he is appreciative to all those making substantial contributions to airport improvement.
These donors understand the value of having a small yet highly functional airport for Knox County, he said. When asked to contribute, they discuss a vision for the airport with Cordle.
“Their contributions are part of community involvement for the airport and show they have input into our thinking,” he offered.
Cordle expects the terminal and electrical projects to be completed before the end of the year.