By Stephy Mahoney | Staff Writer
After about a year of work, the construction to renovate the Waco Regional Airport is almost a quarter of the way through and expected to be completed by September of this year. Currently, staff is working on adding pieces of diverse history, modifying floorspace, incorporating new ceiling designs and unique artwork as Wacoans await the finished project.
The airport is an important air traveling area for the Waco region, offering convenient travel to and from Central Texas, according to the City of Waco website.
Director of Aviation Joel Martinez said there has been some progress in the airport’s construction.
“The Construction is approximately 23% complete,” Martinez said. “Aside from a completely remodeled interior, this project will display $225,000 of public art.”
The project’s official name has been assigned as “Fly Waco Transformed: Terminal Building Modernization Project.”
The project’s goal is to create a terminal that represents the culture and value of the community with an aesthetic appeal while maintaining cleanliness. In addition to an updated terminal, there will be updates to the checkpoint for optimal efficiency. The space will feature modernized flooring, new restrooms and vaulted ceiling completions.
The artwork that will be displayed in the airport will incorporate a variety of artistic talent, as well as practical pieces to heighten the room and add new modernization to old structure. The project cost is approximately $9 million in total.
Martinez, who teaches from the Waco airport, said the renovations have not impacted his students’ flying schedule.
“Students currently enrolled in the Airport Administration course will have the opportunity to visit the project as certain milestones are completed,” Martinez said.
San Clemente, Calif., junior Preston Sanders, an aviation student at the Waco Regional Airport said his time spent at the airport has been educational and he has loved getting to know the ins and outs of the smoothly run operations.
“I’m excited to see the aftermath of the renovations and what they add, I think the outcome will look really cool,” Sanders said. “I always see the athletes, or business school getting new renovations so for us to finally be included in that feels good.”
Sanders said he is on track to graduate and continue his education at the new and improved airport. He said he is not worried anything will change, as far as his aviation education, but has some concerns about the potential new business that will come from the renovations. He said he is praying renovations will not interfere with the number of flying hours he will be able to complete efficiently as he normally would.
The airport’s extensive history dates back to the early 1940s when it was originally opened as a resource for military purposes.
Modern furniture, new workstations and charging ports will also be added amenities throughout the renovations to mimic the luxury feel other airports may have.