By Liz Segrist
Published July 10, 2014
A huge steel dome was placed atop Charleston International Airport on Wednesday, signifying the airport’s new look and marking progress on the renovation project.
The nearly $200 million Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program is about 32% complete and headed for a fall 2015 completion, according to Joi-An Oppold, project director with Austin Hitt, the joint venture leading the project.
Airport officials and construction crews from Austin Hitt gathered Wednesday evening to watch a large crane place the dome on the rooftop during the topping-out ceremony. Airports Director Paul Campbell said the rooftop dome is the last large piece to be placed.
“So, while we’re adding flights, growing passengers, we’re tearing everything apart and rebuilding it at the same time. ... This is a big, big event in a construction project when all your steels gets in place,” Campbell said.
Construction crews signed the steel beams. A U.S. flag, S.C. flag and fir tree sat on top of the dome for the ceremony. The tree will be planted on airport grounds.
When completed, the octagon-shaped glass dome will cover 1,742 square feet and stand 18 feet tall, according to an airport news release.
Through fall 2015, construction will continue to modernize the baggage claim systems, create a consolidate security checkpoint, upgrade airline stations, open new retail stores and restaurants and expand the airport from 10 gates to 15.
The rental car pavilion and three new baggage carousels opened in the spring.
“What we’re trying to do is add to the pleasure, the experience of people coming in,” Campbell said. “We want people to come back and to bring jobs. That’s the important part. This is part of economic development.”
Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.