ELIZABETHTOWN — Construction of the new airport terminal in Elizabethtown is officially underway.
Tuesday morning, Airport Commission representatives, Elizabethtown staff and elected officials, county representatives, law enforcement officials, county commissioners, and other interested stakeholders gathered at the Curtis Brown Field in Elizabethtown to break ground on the new terminal building.
“It’s very gratifying to see it all come together,” said Airport Commission Chairman Fred Tate when addressing the crowd of roughly 60 people.
The 4,500-square-foot building designed by Elizabethtown architect Chris Adams will house office space, a pilot’s lounge, restrooms with showers, a kitchen, and classrooms. Outside, patios will overlook the runway area, columns will grace the exterior, and a wraparound porch will provide extra seating.
“The goal here was to design a place not only for travelers, but for the community to use as a meeting place,” remarked W.K. Dixon engineer Brigid Williams.
Williams’ firm will be engineering the project, the construction arm of which was awarded to Graca Builders of Whiteville.
“This is exactly what our town needs,” said Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell. “People coming into this airport are people who can open businesses in the area, and this building will give them the good first impression of our town that we need.”
For the project, Campbell requested the same W.K. Dickson team that put together Johnston Regional Airport in Smithfield.
“The inside of that terminal building is really impressive,” Campbell commented. “It has fans that look like airplane propellers and a wavy wall that looks like air flowing. It’s really something. Of course, we’ll have something that’s uniquely ours, but I really wanted to get that same designer.”
Architectural renderings were in place at the groundbreaking ceremony, and the general concensus of those viewing the displays seemed to be the one shared by Campbell and Adams.
“It’s really going to be a beautiful space,” Adams commented.
The building replaces a 25-year-old facility that, according to Town Manager Eddie Madden, wasn’t adequate for the town’s needs.
Seven grants totalling $1.2 million will be used to pay for the construction work, the most recent being the $161,000 from NCDOT’s Division of Aviation announced last earlier this month.
Williams said construction is expected to take approximately nine months, and the town is hoping to dedicate the building in September 2018.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.