Airport terminal design takes off |

Airport terminal design takes off

Designing an airport terminal by committee may take a long time, but board members hope to spend the least amount of taxpayer dollars while creating a structure that’s user friendly and open to the public.

“All we’re doing at this point is exploring,” said architect Scott Ryan, as he fielded questions about the building’s design, infrastructure and projected costs.

After compiling information from each board member, Ryan Group Architects presented a design for the Truckee Tahoe Airport terminal based on board member input.

“In order to successfully design a project we need to know how big it’s going to be,” Ryan said.

Ryan spoke to each board member separately to determine what each expected out of a terminal building – how big it will be, what services will be provided and how much the airport district will spend.

Architects also spoke to airport staff regarding administrative needs.

They then took that information and presented a design to the board at the Nov. 21 meeting.

The current plan estimates the cost at about $7 million, including the cost of the building and the infrastructure, Ryan said.

“My only concern – and probably will be until the day it’s done – is cost,” said board member Ken Foster.

But outgoing board member Don Bedard noted that for a public structure, the cost is low.

“This 7.2 million … in my opinion you’re seeing houses being built for 7.2 million, so 7.2 million doesn’t really upset me,” Bedard said.

Some board members and Truckee residents in the audience suggested that the airport look at a smaller building to cut back on costs.

But board member Constance Stevens said she wants to see a terminal building that will last a long time, and won’t be outgrown in the next 10 to 15 years.

“I’d rather not build something small and wish we had built this one,” Stevens said.

She was also concerned with the environmental sustainability of the terminal and asked how “green” it will be.

“There is a cost and it varies depending on how serious that desire is,” Ryan said.

The 19,000-square-foot terminal would include a car rental office, a lobby, a pilot’s lounge, a community room, operations offices, a restaurant and an elevator for access to the second floor.

“I think the building is beautiful and our big chore is to figure out how we’re going to pay for it,” Foster said.

Ryan Group Architects will take the information gathered at the November board meeting and will present another design in December as well as “fly-by” simulations of what the building will look like from the air.

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