An $800,000 renovation project at Mid-Way Regional Airport is slated to get under way July 1. The project will renovate both floors of the existing terminal building and is seen as a tool to drive more businesses to the facility.

“The first step was to confirm our budget, which was about $800,000. Fifty percent of that money is state grant money and the two cities are basically paying $200,000 each. Most of or a great portion that the cities are paying is money that was in the project for the runway. That project came in so far under budget that we have money left over we were able to apply to this project,” airport manager Andy Biery said.

“The first step was the preliminary plan to make sure that we got everything in the building that we were trying to achieve, then we compared that to the budget,” he said. “Once we confirmed that we would be able to do what we wanted to do within the budget, the Texas Department of Transportation gave our contractor, Scott Tucker Construction, the authority to hire an architect.”

The airport board formed a committee to work with Biery, the architect and the construction manager to make decisions to keep the project within the budget. Through this process, potential problems were found and solved before those could add more cost to the project. The project was refined even further and a floor plan and new sketches of the building have been done.

Last week, TxDOT gave Scott Tucker Construction the go ahead to complete the final set of construction drawings for the project.

One of the noticeable changes is with the patio that is connected to the building on the second floor. Originally the design called for the patio to wrap around two sides of the building but due to safety concerns, now, only the patio that faces the runway will remain. The portion that was removed had support columns in the parking lot and there was a fear that a driver might hit one.

The terminal will receive an upgrade of an elevator, which will be hidden from view in a decorative control tower that will be covered in stone.

The second floor will house five offices along with a kitchen, dining area and porch. All of the electrical and plumbing needs for the kitchen will be put into place but none of the appliances will be installed. That will be up to the business owner who decides to lease the space for a restaurant.

 “We don’t know who is going to be operating the kitchen nor what kind of food they are going to be serving. So we have no way of designing the kitchen,” Biery said. “All the things that would support the restaurant, such as stubbing in all of the plumbing and the electrical needs for the full kitchen will be done.”

On the first floor, the lobby will be reconfigured and there will be a 2,000 square foot covered patio. Four offices will be retained on the first floor and the conference room will be expanded into the existing airport manager office. When completed, the space will be able to accommodate conferences of about 25 to 30 people, which is up from its previous capacity of 10 people. The space for the pilots lounge will be shifted into the space that houses the airport operations manager’s office. Those two offices will be shifted upstairs to the second floor.