The Murfreesboro City Council Thursday (Oct. 1) approved a Design-Build contract with Morgan Construction for replacement of Hangar 1. Construction on the 19,000 square-foot modern facility is scheduled to begin in early November with anticipated completion in summer 2021.
“We are in the process of building our Airport into one of the top facilities in the mid-state,” stated Mayor Shane McFarland. “For many people, the Murfreesboro Airport is the front door to our community and we feel like a great airport should reflect the direction Murfreesboro continues to head.”
“Construction of a new major hangar at Murfreesboro Airport will not only further modernize the Airport with the newly operational terminal, but also contribute to further job creation,” said Airport Manager Chad Gehrke. “The prime tenant of the new hangar will be Mike Jones Aircraft Sales (MJAS).
MJAS is known worldwide for conversions on the Piper Navajo aircraft and employees 16 mechanics, avionics technicians, and office administrators. The new hangar will allow MJAS to expand expertise and marketing for conversions on other makes and models of aircraft while adding jobs. When completed, the hangar will be leased to MJAS.
The City was awarded a $2 million Economic Development Grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Aeronautics Economic Development Fund for construction of a maintenance hangar in the south terminal development area. Murfreesboro was one of only eight airports to receive state funding in early 2019 for maintenance, repair and overhaul expansion.
The Public Building Authority (PBA) received proposals from eight teams. PBA selected Morgan Construction, resulting in a proposed $4.2 million contract for construction of the new Hangar I, replacing the Quonset hut style hangar. Construction will be overseen through use of a Design-Build contract, a process used to manage efficiency through the construction process.
The $4.2 million construction will be funded through the TDOT grant, City Community Improvement Project (CIP) funds and rent collected from the hangar.
“Securing the TDOT grant funding for development of the airport infrastructure allows the City to leverage its matching funds in a cost-effective manner,” said Project Manager and Planning Director Greg McKnight. “Use of the design-build construction deliver method is an effective way to secure a cost-efficient project budget and beneficial delivery for certain types of projects like this one.”
The new hangar will expand the Airport’s infrastructure with construction of a new modern, versatile hangar facility, allowing for additional tenants and creation of highly-skilled jobs.
The City recently completed construction of a new Municipal Airport Terminal, replacing the old terminal built in 1952. The new 16,000-sqaure-foot terminal includes a large main lobby with raised and ground level observation areas, lounge seating, a large leasable business conference center, smaller conference room space, pilot lounge, and office space.
“The new terminal is four times bigger than the old terminal,” said Gehrke. “We are elated to present air travelers with the best impression possible and to fulfill the needs of a growing city for the next half-century.”
One of the notable features of the new terminal is a mezzanine extending outside to an observation deck to allow outdoor viewing of air traffic. Additional multiple-vehicle parking was designed into the plans for convenience.
Murfreesboro-based Smith Design Build, a commercial building contractor, and Nashville-based architectural firm Lowen+Associates, LLC teamed-up on the design. The airport caters to the Aerospace Department at Middle Tennessee State University, with leasable space in the new terminal, and Air Methods LifeFlight emergency medical transport for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“We’re looking forward to using the leasable space for catered events and the needs of the business community,” added Gehrke.