Airport commission selects terminal contractor

Lafayette Regional Airport is one step closer to its new $90 million terminal.

A special meeting Wednesday night announced the airport commission’s choice of two architect and engineering firms to build the terminal.

Atlanta-based firm Heery International and RS&H based in Jacksonville, Florida, were selected among eight firms through a comprehensive interview process that began in January, said Airport Executive Director Steven Picou.

“This is kind of our Neil Armstrong moment,” Picou said referring to the selection process as major step in moving the project forward.

Lafayette Regional Airport Commission Chairman Paul Guilbeau Sr. said both firms should be under contract by June.

“Taxpayers should be proud of your work,” Guilbeau told the commission about the tedious efforts to select the right contractors for the job.

Lafayette Parish voters approved a temporary 1-cent sales tax in 2014 to generate money to build the terminal. The tax collected $32.6 million from April 1 to Nov. 30, 2015.

The airport also received $13.5 million in state funds.

The commission has more than $4 million of its own funds and will be able to bond about $35 million. The commission has also made a request to the Federal Aviation Administration for funding.

The public will be invited to offer input in designing the 107,520-square-foot terminal, which will include five boarding gates, a full-service restaurant, a gift shop and additional parking.

Building the terminal is expected to take four years.

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