The Marshall County Airport Authority has been awarded $495,727 in federal grant funds to construct 10 new T-hangars, according to Susan Board, airport manager.
In addition, the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission will provide matching funds in the amount of $55,000 for the project.
The federal funding was recently announced by Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va. Along with Marshall County, regional airports serving Barbour and Upshur counties will receive a total of $795,727 in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration to help them construct new hangars.
Board said she has known about the grants for a while and three bids have already been received to do the work, which is divided into three phases: ground preparation, electric and building erection. Contracts for the work will not be awarded until the money has been received.
Jarvis, Downing & Emch was the low bidder for ground preparation work, and Walters Construction was the low bidder for the other two phases. Board does not know when the funding will come in, however, the project is anticipated to begin toward the end of summer.
"The vast majority of FAA grant money is awarded for projects that concern safety issues," Board said. "Several years ago, the Marshall County Airport Authority, with the support of Marshall County commissioners, became very proactive in resolving any safety issues at this airport.
"This forethought has allowed us to qualify for an income-producing project. In addition to boosting the vitality of general aviation in this area, the new hangars will help make the airport more self-sufficient," she added.
According to Board, T-Hangars are a common, space-saving configuration for storing aircraft. The airport will be putting in one building, approximately 230 by 50 feet, that will contain 10 nested, individual hangars.
It will be steel framed, steel sided and have 10 individual electric bi-fold doors with a concrete floor. They are constructed to withstand harsh weather and protect the planes.
"We already have several aircraft owners on a list who want to rent these hangars," she said. "Because of the grant money we are receiving, we should be able to rent them at a very affordable rate."
"West Virginia's airports are critical lifelines for our businesses, tourism and our state's economy. And making sure they receive the upgrades they need will enable our communities to continue to see the benefits and keep airports safe," said Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. "Supporting our regional airports is always a priority of mine, and this is a piece of good news as we continue working, with an eye toward the future, to keep them as strong as possible."
Manchin added, "Investing in American infrastructure is one of the most commonsense steps we can take right now to put people back to work and boost our economy.
Building these airport hangars is an issue both Democrats and Republicans can agree on because it will create jobs and strengthen our ability to compete in the future. I have always said we can do the most good for our state when we invest together in our future."
The Barbour County Airport Authority and the Buckhannon-Upshur Airport Authority will each receive $150,000 toward hangar construction.