Construction at GJ airport may be slowing

Construction of the new administration building at Grand Junction Regional Airport is something its board members hope to slow but not stop, so that federal funding can be used in the next FAA funding cycle.

Negotiators for Grand Junction Regional Airport and Shaw Construction are working on ways to adjust the construction schedule for the just-renamed administration building, officials said.

Construction, however, is going according to the schedule contemplated in the contract even as talks with the airport continue, Shaw officials said.

“My sense is that they are working with us and we will come to something agreeable,” said Airport Authority Board Chairman Steve Wood.

Airport and Shaw officials have met, said Shaw President Clark Atkinson, adding that there have been “discussions about different scenarios.”

“It’s all pretty sensitive,” Atkinson said, noting that the airport hasn’t delivered any formal notice to Shaw to change its schedule.

The airport board earlier this month took a series of actions affecting the construction project, among them changing the designation of the building from a terminal to an administrative building, as well as changing floorspace designations.

It also contemplates relinquishing federal grants that were awarded to the airport based on the representation that the money would go toward a terminal building.

Officials are hoping they still can garner some federal money for the project, though not at the same level as was available for a terminal building.

No federal money has been used so far on the building. The work so far has gone forward on airport funds.

The board also empowered Wood and staff to work with Shaw to find a way to deal with the changes in funding and the construction schedule.

Board members said they hoped to slow, but not stop construction, so that federal funding can be used in the next FAA funding cycle.

Stopping construction could cost $3 million to $3.5 million including the more than $2 million from airport funds already spent on the project, officials said at the Jan. 14 meeting.

The airport board is dealing with a range of issues in addition to the pressing matter of the construction project.

Observers of the board now are seeing a “lot more deliberative process” going on, Wood said. “The board is doing what a deliberative board should be doing.”

Among the issues before the board is the arrangement with the Subway sandwich shop at the airport.

The airport owns the shop, and the people who work there are airport employees.

While the shop ostensibly turns a profit, it also demands significant attention from airport management, Amy Jordan, interim director of aviation, told the board.

Among the various issues the board is contending with, however, “The disposition of the Subway is probably not in the top 10 yet,” Wood said.


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