The Prince Rupert Airport (YPR) terminal may be in rough shape now, but by summer’s end it will be completely redone.
While it appears little has been done since the first phase of the renovation project started in late July, a lot of progress has been made.
Richard Reed, manager of the Prince Rupert Airport, said airport users can expect all of the work to be completed as early as July, September at the latest.
So far in the first phase of renovations the south end of the terminal has been gutted up to the washrooms, with all of the walls being removed. Additionally, some structural and foundation work had to be done to bring the building up to code.
Work to update and reroute water, sewer and electrical lines in the terminal is underway both inside and outside of the terminal.
The remaining scope of work in phase one includes constructing new washrooms further down the terminal’s south end, on the eastern side of the building where administrative offices were formally located, with those offices being moved to the southwest corner of the terminal.
Reed said plumbers will start work to connect water and sewer pipes to the new washrooms’ location this week.
Also included in phase one will be creating a new baggage claim carousel on the west side of the terminal facing the airport apron and replacing all of the terminal’s windows and exterior siding.
The final aspect of the first phase is expanding the security holding room. The windows facing the apron were boarded up when work outside started.
The ground outside of the holding room is being dug up to prepare for laying foundation, with work on water, sewer and electrical lines being done to accommodate the expansion.
It is expected phase one will be complete in May.
The second phase of renovations will start when the new washrooms are operational. In this phase the current washrooms and hallway that leads to them will be removed, creating an open space that will be the main concourse.
“The area where you would be claiming your baggage will be open straight across to the other side of the building,” Reed explained.
The open concept terminal building will be bright, as the terminal’s exterior will consist mainly of large windows. To prevent noise from echoing around the terminal, sound reduction panels will be installed on the ceiling.
In the final phase, airline counters and offices will be redone, with an additional space being created.
A new shelter will also be erected outside of the terminal’s front door during the last stage of renovations.
Originally the Prince Rupert Airport Authority had contracted Victoria-based firm Durwest Construction Management Inc. for the massive renovation project, but in October the authority decided to drop the construction manager and hire general contractor Marcan Construction.
“There were a number of reasons, one of which was inadequate communication between them and us and the fact that they were proving to be more expensive and less in tune with our present situation in our community than we anticipated. All of this was leading to a bit of friction,” Reed said.
“In a small community like this you need local knowledge.”
Reed said the authority is in the process of paying Durwest Construction Management the monies due to them to the end of October.
Despite the switch, Reed said the renovation project is on budget and on schedule.
“Marcan has kept everything within the budget by finding solutions to some of the issues that were suggested by engineers and architects,” he explained, adding the decision is proving to be a good one.
“(Marcan) is hands on, they know the community, they know the suppliers and they can get things done quickly.”