Sanford wants airport to budget for furniture, art

By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com
Published June 6, 2014

Passengers traveling through airports rely on places to sit and outlets for their phones and computers.

The Charleston County Aviation Authority needs to budget for furniture, art, lighting and electrical outlets as part of its ongoing renovation project at the Charleston International Airport, according to board member Jenny Sanford.

Charleston County Aviation Authority board member Jenny Sanford has proposed budgeting for furniture, art, lighting and electrical outlets for the ongoing renovation project at Charleston International Airport now, using money from the project’s $11.2 million contingency fund. (Photo/file)

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During a committee meeting for the Terminal Redevelopment & Improvement Program, Sanford proposed budgeting for these items now, using money from the project’s $11.2 million contingency fund.

She said these items are needed to finish the renovation for passengers and it would give the board a more realistic idea of how much remains for unexpected costs.

“What about places for people to sit and plug their phones in? ... This isn’t all about the unknowns. It’s known that we want our passengers to be able to sit,” Sanford said. “These things are not budgeted or designed for.”

Airports Director Paul Campbell said roughly $2.3 million of the authority’s $11.2 million contingency fund has been spent thus far on change orders for unknown expenses that have occurred during construction.

These unknowns stem from unexpected issues with underground piping and electrical work, as well as the discovery of asbestos in materials used when the terminal was built in the early 1980s, according to Matt McCoy of Michael Baker Inc.

Sanford said change orders are part and parcel of a project of this scale, but the funds could also be used to budget for other necessary items.

“I just want to make sure the orders and magnitudes are correct so we have the money there to finish this space out,” Sanford said.

Campbell said he will work with his staff and the contractors to finalize a list of what’s needed to finish the space, as well as estimated costs, in the coming months.

The board has allocated funds in its fiscal 2015 budget for furniture for its administrative offices.

Construction update

Construction on the $189 million Terminal Redevelopment & Improvement Program continues for its projected September 2015 completion.

Once the project is complete, a large, consolidated checkpoint will include eight lanes and a pre-check lane, which are designed for anticipated capacity through 2030.

Crews will soon install a canopy as part of the front curb renovations. Site work is underway around Concourses A and B in preparation for pouring of concrete.

“This will get some real estate back for us,” McCoy said.

McCoy said Delta will be moved to a temporary location later this summer as its new space is outfitted.

“This will start the leapfrogging of airlines to get them into their permanent spaces as we finish off their areas,” McCoy said.

The Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program committee met today to get an update on four recent change orders approved by Campbell.

The rental car pavilion will receive $21,700 in upgrades, including new lighting panels, curbside signage and IT cabinets.

Campbell also approved an additional $8,400 for the city of North Charleston for inspections and code compliance services.

At a previous meeting, board members questioned whether a special purpose district, such as the Aviation Authority, had to pay municipalities for such services. The board’s legal counsel, Arnold Goodstein, said the authority is required to do so.

“It’s a bargain for them to do our inspections and make sure our codes are in compliance. We can call on them on a 24/7 basis,” Campbell said. “Without them, we would have had to put a staff together to do this.”

Campbell also approved roughly $121,000 for additional roof drainage systems and roughly $130,000 for three additional airfield paving slabs and temporary restroom trailers.

The trailers are needed in case the airport loses water during construction, as well as for high-peak travel times as the airport operates during the construction process, McCoy said.

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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