Airport construction nearing beginning

EVART — The Evart Municipal Airport will soon have a new terminal building.

It’s been talked about for years.

The structure has been planned and re-planned. Designs have grown, shrunk, and morphed.

Start. Stop. Start. And stop again.

Big plans. Humble beginnings.

And now ...plans for a groundbreaking.

“We expect there will actually be a groundbreaking for work in early April,” reported Melora Theunick, director of the Evart Local Finance Development Authority.

The LDFA had ramrodded much of the planning for years, with Evart’s City Council and administrative team taking over the process in recent months.

“There isn’t a date set, but work will be starting soon,” she continued.

“We need to get this project going or we stand to lose money that is earmarked for this construction by MDOT aeronautics.”

The terminal will be a bit scaled down from ‘once-upon-a-time’ plans.

“Whatever the case, this will be a very pleasant gateway to our city for those arriving by air,” Theunick said.

The building will be 1,800 square feet and will include a lobby area, bathroom facilities, entrances from city-side and tarmac area, an office-administrative area, (housing log books and weather station needs), a pilot rest area, and a conference room with a kitchenette attached.

The terminal will be located just off the end of the road that runs in front of Chippewa Plastics - just south of U.S. 10.

The present airport building, located along U.S. 10 across from Chemical Bank, will remain in place until a determination is made as to potential use in the future.

“It probably won’t be destroyed or removed at this point,” said Theunick. “There is a functioning bathroom in that building and it could be put to some productive use.”

The local share of the approximately $550,000 construction project expense is expected to cost some $11,000. The city will be “cost sharing” with the LDFA to cover that $11,000 sum.

“If we don’t move forward with construction plans, we will need to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been collecting over the years specifically for this project,” noted Theunick.

“This is something that has been discussed and planned for many, many years.

“It’s good to see we are finally getting going.”

There will be a pre-construction meeting on March 15. Construction is expected to last through the end of July, early August.