By Chris Durden
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
6:06 PM CDT, September 13, 2012
Travelers, community leaders and area businesses have looked forward to it for years. Not even a steady rain could stop the celebration.
Forced indoors because of the weather, dozens attended Thursday's ceremonial groundbreaking of the new terminal at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport.
“The new terminal will be the airline gateway to the state of Kansas,” Mayor Carl Brewer said. “It will serve as a front window into our city and our history. Visitors will know that Wichita gave birth to aircraft manufacturing and that more aircraft have been built here than anywhere in the world.”
The new $160 million terminal will be built just northwest of the existing building. When complete, the terminal will include:
The new terminal is scheduled to open in early 2015.
The total pricetag is $160 million. Of that amount, $37 million has gone to design work. The project is funded with airport passenger and aviation user fees, not tax dollars.
Recent projects have been complete in preparation for the new terminal. They include:
Construction of the terminal itself begins after a contentious and lengthy bidding process.
The lowest bid was rejected after failing to meet requirements that part of the work be done by disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) which include minority-owned companies.
Multiple appeals followed with the contract going to a partnership between Key Construction and Walbridge of Detroit. Their bid was $101.5 million.
The new terminal was designed by a team led by HNTB Architecture of Kansas City.
The current building was built in 1954, with several upgrades and additions over the years. It's last major renovation cost $6 million in 1989.
Most of the current terminal will be demolished when the new terminal is fully operational. Parts of the building will remain intact for eventual conversion into offices for Customs & Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration.
Mid-Continent is the largest and busiest airport in Kansas.
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