KENAI, ALASKA — Workers have begun the remodel of the 52-year-old terminal at the Kenai Municipal Airport.
Construction to modernize the terminal began in mid-October, the Peninsula Clarion reported.
“There’s only going to be a small amount of work done before winter comes,” said city manager Paul Ostrander. The bulk of the work will start in April or May, he said.
Changes will be made from the roof to entryways with a goal of enhancing the passenger experience and improving the movement of baggage and cargo.
The Federal Aviation Agency in September awarded a $10.6 million grant for the project. U.S Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in the announcement said the airport investment would create local jobs, upgrade reliability and improve air travel safety.
The terminal was expanded in 1983 and a restaurant and lounge were added in 1988. Sidewalks, entryways and parking lots were upgraded in 2004.
The latest remodel, due for completion in December 2019, will give the airport a fresh look, Ostrander said.
“We’re going to be upgrading the entire facility,” he said. “It’s going to look much different than it did before.”
Familiar art in the airport may move, Ostrander warned.
“As we are going through the terminal rehab project there are things that have been hanging on the terminal walls for years and years and years that may very go away permanently after construction is completed,” he said.
That includes a quilt donated by a third-grade class that has hung by the baggage claim for about 16 years.
“It’s going to come down during construction and we’re not planning on putting it back,” Ostrander said. “There’s going to be other items that that’s going to happen to as well. Some of it may create some amount of controversy; there’s some history in some of them.”