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Frost could affect move to new airport terminal
Construction crews worked Thursday to hang drywall at the new Monroe Municipal Airport terminal, Jan. 30. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
MONROE - The move into the city's new airport terminal may be as slow as the spring thaw following this year's arctic blasted winter.

Indeed, the deep frost may be the main culprit in a smooth transition.

Construction of the new $1 million Monroe Municipal Airport terminal has been on schedule, and as late as just last month, airport officials were planning for the move-in, followed by the demotion of the old building, in February.

But the rock-hard, frozen ground could make transferring equipment, lighting and other power lines to their new home a bit more difficult than contractors expected.

Rob Driver, airport manager, said a lot still has to happen before the new terminal can be called ready for operation, but he also said final construction is happening quickly. That's why he is continuing to prepare for the move in February.

Driver will soon begin packing up items in the old terminal for storage or archiving, and transferring as much as possible to the new facility just next door.

Furniture for the new, 1,660-sq. ft. terminal is expected to be delivered in early March. An interior design team from Paragon Business Furniture Group, Middleton, has selected commercial-grade upholstery in an array of earth-tone colors and a rich chocolate-colored laminate for desk and table tops, to accentuate the building's natural stone decor. The company is also interested in doing a photo-shoot of the terminal after it is furnished.

The terminal still needs a small refrigerator and television for the pilots' lounge and a television for the waiting area, which may be sponsored by businesses or individuals.

Members of the Airport Board of Management talked Wednesday, Jan. 29, about holding a grand opening, but postponed setting a date for the celebration. That event may be held in late spring or early summer, after the spring thaw and the sidewalks are poured.

Demolition of the old building will be swift, Driver told the board.

"One day you'll be sitting in here, and the next day, it'll be gone," he said.