El Dorado News

June 24, 2018
El Dorado News Times

Airport Commission approves repair of leaking building

By By Tia Lyons Staff Writer
This article was published June 19, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

EL DORADO — Work could begin by mid-August to repair the leaky roof of the terminal building at South Arkansas Regional Airport at Goodwin Field.

The El Dorado Airport Commission voted last week to move forward with the project, which has a preliminary budget estimate of $183,916.

During a regular meeting on June 12, commissioners agreed to jumpstart the process of looking for funding and putting together a bid package.

Blake Dunn, of CADM Architecture, Inc., told commissioners that work on the roof could proceed ahead of a master rehabilitation/renovation plan for the airport terminal.

CADM developed the master plan in 2015, presenting options for rehabilitation and new construction.

At the time, commissioners voted in favor of new construction, but the process was halted when local, state and national historic preservation groups intervened to save the 71-year-old terminal building.

Earlier this year, CADM tweaked the master plan, with Dunn presenting a revised conceptual design and preliminary budget estimate of $2.1 million.

An airport commission subcommittee was formed to explore funding options to cover the cost of the master plan.

However, commissioners and city officials agreed that the roof needs immediate attention to prevent further water damage, noting that repairs should be done before fall and winter set in.

Dunn reiterated that point last week.

“The more infiltration you have, the worse it’s going to get and the more expensive it’s going to be down the road,” he said.

Mayor Frank Hash agreed, adding, “This building is in dire straits, and it’s continuing to deteriorate, and it’s getting into an emergency situation.”

Dunn said infiltration issues need to be addressed for roofs on all three levels of the terminal — the first and second floors and the tower cab — and the existing roofing system replaced.

The mechanical and electrical systems, including the heating and air units, will have to be removed from the roof and relocated while the work is ongoing — all of which has been factored into the preliminary budget.

“The leaking has been going on for so long, all of the insulation under the roofing material needs to be removed,” Dunn said. “We’re also adding a few more roof drains because some areas are underserved.”

The work will also entail new roof membrane and flashers.

A $25,000 contingency is included in the budget estimate, Dunn told commissioners. He said crews will not know how extensive the damage is until they get started on the project.

“If it’s not needed, then you’ll get a credit back on construction. It’s a 20 percent contingency,” Dunn said.

Commissioner Gary Harrell asked how long it would take to prepare a bid specifications, and Dunn said, “Three to four weeks, tops.”

Hash asked if the work involved falls “within the capabilities” of local roofing contractors.

Dunn said several local roofers are licensed to that type of roofing installation and could bid on the project.

He told commissioners that work could begin by mid-August and be completed within four to six weeks.

Commissioners discussed potential funding sources, including a matching grant from the state.

Hash said a supplemental letter from the commission should accompany a grant application to the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics.

“We should tell them what we need and that we need it now and why we need it now,” the mayor said.

Commission chairman Mickey Murphee said there is more than $200,000 in the airport reserve coffers, and Hash said commissioners could also present a funding request to the El Dorado City Council to tap into the city’s reserves.

In other business, the search is on for a new airport manager.

Former manager Tim Johnson resigned last month to take another job. His last day was June 2.

Johnathan Estes, fixed base operations manager and sales manager for the airport’s car rental service, is interim manager of the airport.

Hash said the position would have to be advertised for at least two weeks in a “newspaper of record,” either the News-Times or Arkansas-Democrat Gazette.

“We haven’t done that yet. It’s in the works,” Murphee said, adding that the position has also been posted online on websites such as www.indeed.com and with the Arkansas Airport Operators Association.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.

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