Airport whittles down new terminal design options | SierraSun.com

Airport whittles down new terminal design options

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors, at their May 16 meeting, narrowed the number of architectural and engineering firms that are in the running to design the new terminal building at the airport from five firms to two.The two finalists are Ryan Group Architects and Elise Fett Ltd.The other firms vying for the board’s nod-of-approval were Ward-Young Architecture & Planning, MWA Architecture and Engineering and JLS Design.But with representatives from those firms absent from last week’s meeting in which the board requested some clarification on the cost and time of constructing their terminal designs, the final decision was postponed until early July.The decision was not, however, in accordance with public feedback, which was elicited by the board after the firm’s presentations last month.Slightly over a hundred people filled out comment forms, which asked them to pick their two preferred designs and submit those choices to the board.The designs prepared by MWA and JLS were the people’s choice, getting 56 and 40 votes respectively.Originally discussed as far back as the1970s, a new terminal was outlined in the airport’s revised master plan and was adopted in 2000.At a March workshop board members laid out some of what they think are the essential features that should be part of the new terminal building at the Truckee Tahoe Airport.Those elements included a lodge-like structure with more office space and a larger meeting room that could double as a community center.The board also set a $6-million price at the workshop.Firms hoping to win the contract then had approximately 30 days to incorporate those elements into a design that would create a terminal that could last into the latter half of this century.The proposed designs included terminals ranging in size from 12,500 to 21,000 square feet with estimated price tags of between $3.5 to $6 million.During presentations last month some of the firms described the challenge of the design as merging the “Tahoe style” with an aeronautics future that we can’t predict.Others spoke of things like the timelessness, the building should have, a “cozy yet grand building,” and one that would be “restored with pride instead of demolished.”Several of the firms pointed out that their terminal designs were flexible enough to accommodate future commercial operations – including additional security and baggage handling capabilities.Airport officials have stated that the condition and size of the current terminal, which is nearing its fortieth anniversary, is outdated and cramped.The current terminal, approximately 5,000 square feet, is also ahead of the building relief line, meaning it currently sits too close to the runways.The new terminal will be located on a vacant lot several hundred feet to the southwest of where the existing terminal is currently located.According to airport officials, the funding will come from approximately $3.5 million in the district’s general fund that has been earmarked for this project. The remainder of the funding comes from a mixture of federal and state grants and loans.