March 10, 2015 – Andrea Goodell, Holland Sentinel After several years of fundraising and planning, the West Michigan Regional Airport Business Center is down to the details.
“We’re down to choosing paint colors and tile,” West Michigan Airport Authority Manager Greg Robinson said during an authority meeting Monday afternoon, March 9.
That includes an easy-to-wash “skin” that will resist the soot from airplane exhaust outside and a “conservative European Holland” aesthetic inside for the new West Michigan Regional Airport terminal.
The $1.8 million business center will house the airport’s fixed based operation and the airport authority. It will have a conference room, public restrooms, flight planning and weather room, a pilots’ lounge, reception desk and waiting room for the pilots and their passengers who fly into and out of the airport.
Large sections of the building would be impact-resistant glass, allowing visitors to see all the airport activity from the waiting room. Groundbreaking is expected to be late summer.
By the end of the month, officials expect to close on the land for the building that will sit north of the airport runway, at the end of Geurink Boulevard.
The building and apron are anticipated to cost about $5.5 million. Much of that will be paid for by the Federal Aviation Administration of Michigan Department of Transportation. The airport authority will pay $50,000 of the $1.8 million building costs and about $600,000, total, for the project. Capital campaigns will start soon to raise the final $200,000 needed for the $2.3 million apron portion of the project.
The authority, at its Monday meeting, approved a $450,000 operating budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1. As part of that budget, officials expect to reduce staff expenses by 34 percent by bringing Robinson, former Holland assistant city manager, in house as the authority’s manager.