Airport project cost decreases nearly 30%

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

NEW KNOXVILLE – The estimated cost of a new terminal at Neil Armstrong Airport has come down by almost 30 percent, largely due to calming market demands, according to the airport manager.

Airport manager Ted Bergstrom said architectural firm Garmann-Miller thinks the new project may come in at $1.3 million rather than the past prediction of $1.8 million, due in large part to a softening in the structural steel market.

“Prices for steel are coming down,” her said, “and the lead time a steel fabricator needs has dropped from 16 to 12 days.”

This quicker turn-around in providing steel makes estimating the market costs easier to predict, he said, which allows a construction company to know their costs to build.

Brad Garmann of Garmann Miller Associates said that he planned to meet with the Auglaize County Commissioners later this week to discuss how to proceed and what options to include in a new bid package.

This is the latest development in a 15-year effort to replace the almost 50-year-old old terminal. The cost of the original bid package offered in June was $2.2 million for a 4,000-square-foot facility but received no bids from contractors.

A second bidding process for a new airport terminal was delayed for 4 to 6 months to allow re-evaluation of the project’s specifications and to survey why contactors did not bid on the original package.

Garmann Miller said contractor reasons for their lack of interest in the entering in the first bidding process included concern over enough funding to cover the completed project, volatility in the materials market at the time due to the costs of new tariffs, as well as working with FAA on a federal project and completion timelines.

The project funding would be 90 percent from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), five percent by state funds and the last five percent through a county match.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.