Airport board advances on contractor selection

Airport commissioners are seeking a lead construction firm for the terminal project. (Photo Credit: Ken Stickney, The Advertiser)

LAFAYETTE, La. (The Daily Advertiser) – The Lafayette Airport Commission is pushing ahead to hire a construction firm to build its $100 million airport terminal project.

Airport Director Steven Picou said commissioners are seeking statements of qualification from companies big enough and experienced enough to handle the project, which involves replacing the Lafayette Regional Airport’s terminal with a 120,000-square-foot building, probably by 2021.

Commissioners have advertised in The Daily Advertiser, on the airport’s website and in national trade journals for prospective companies. The airport will host a pre-proposal meeting at 2 p.m. June 1 for companies seeking the job. Picou said sub-contractors interested in the project should come to the meeting, too, to talk with companies that are seeking the lead position.

He said at least 7.31 percent of the project must be done by “disadvantaged” businesses — those led by minorities or women. The airport has worked for the past year to prepare such businesses to participate in the project, he said.

The June 1 meeting is to answer questions and make certain would-be lead companies understand what’s involved in the project. Jonathan Pope, senior program manager for Heery International, which will oversee the project and its construction, said the goal now is not to make bids on the project, but to make certain the builder is qualified to do the job. Heery’s tasks include technical oversight and cost control.

Airport commissioners expect to see at least regional and possibly national interest in the project, including builders from Dallas and Atlanta and New Orleans. That won’t preclude hiring a supremely qualified local company, though. Recent, “relevant” experience in airport construction is important, especially because of security concerns that have developed since 2001.

By June 19, companies should present proposals. A project selection review team will review the proposals and select a short list for interviews during the week of July 17. The commissioners will receive proposals from the finalists July 28 and make a decision at their Aug. 7 meeting.

The project includes designing and building the commercial service passenger terminal, which will be on two levels. There will be five gates and concessions on either side of security.

The terminal complex will include a utility building, aircraft parking ramp and taxiways, frontage and circulating roadways and surface parking for 1,000 vehicles. The new terminal will be built adjacent to the existing terminal, which was built in the 1950s; the existing terminal will be torn down when the new terminal is ready.

Picou said airline service will not be interrupted by the project.

RS&H Architecture, Engineering and Consulting has completed the terminal design, which was selected by the public and the commissioners in February. That design, “Journey,” draws on the “collective spirit of Acadiana” and was revealed to the public in February.

Picou said cargo carriers FedEx and UPS will move to their new facilities fronting U.S. Highway 90 in June. After the lead company is chosen, the old cargo buildings near the construction site will be demolished.

Pope said a variety of mandated tests will be done on the site between now and early 2019, when terminal construction should begin.

About $32 million for the airport terminal project was generated through a temporary, 1-cent airport tax.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s