Prepared by Mead & Hunt
About the Consultant
Q What services do you (Mead & Hunt) provide as the Island’s airport consultant?
A Mead & Hunt provides consulting services including engineering, planning, architectural and environmental review for projects related to the airport development. We have worked with the airport since our selection in 2007 and have assisted in developing the Capital Improvement Plan for the airport as well as coordinated with the MDOT Office of Aeronautics and the FAA on behalf of the airport.
Q What other services does Mead & Hunt offer?
A Mead & Hunt offers many services to our aviation clients including planning, engineering, architecture, air service, environmental planning and operations planning.
Q What other airports do you serve?
A Mead & Hunt serves as the consultant to more than 50 airports in Michigan ranging from commercial service airports such as Cherry Capital and Pellston Regional to general aviation airports such as West Michigan Regional in Holland and Ontonagon Airport in the Upper Peninsula. We have worked with Beaver Island for over five years.
Q How was Kendra Thompson Architects, PC selected as the project architect?
A The Airport Commission considered three firms for the architectural work and interviewed two (Wilcox and Kendra Thompson Architects), from which they will make the selection.
- Mead & Hunt, Inc. has a full-service architectural group with the technical skills to provide the work. However, we withdrew our name from consideration so that a local architect could be selected who might be a better fit for the nature of this project.
- Kendra Thompson Architects, PC is based in Manistee and has done a number of governmental/public use buildings which provide her with an understanding of the type of building needed for the airport. She showed great enthusiasm in the interview and demonstrated the professional ability to complete the work.
Q Why do we need a new terminal?
A The age of the existing terminal, along with limited space for commercial operations, general aviation passengers, freight & baggage, and airline activities/commercial operations combine to create a solid need for a new terminal building. There is also limited secured area for the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) and limited opportunities for expansion.
Q Who determined the budget of $650,000?
A The budget was developed based upon the 2008 Concept and Budget Report for a new terminal building that was previously adopted by the Airport Commission. Based on that building concept, a $500,000 construction budget is anticipated. The remainder is for design and construction administration fees and contingencies which is standard for a project of this size. Fixtures and furniture are not included in this budget.
Q Why was the Island selected to receive this grant? Does the Island have any special designation because of our location in the middle of Lake Michigan?
A The MDOT Office of Aeronautics selected Beaver Island Airport to receive this grant because of the demonstrated need for the project. The Airport is recognized in the Michigan Aviation System Plan 2010 as an important element of the state’s aviation transportation system that provides access to the remote location. This is especially important during the winter months when access by water is limited or not available.
Q What taxes funded this program to build a new $650,000 building?
A Funding for this project is generated by the 4% sales tax on aviation fuel and aviation products as a result of House Bill 4025 – Act No. 226 for FY 2013.
Q If we “reject” the funding, will those funds be used to reduce aviation fuel tax or will they go to another community?
A If the funds are not spent at Beaver Island, they will be spent at another airport in Michigan.
Q Will there be costs for the new terminal that are not eligible for funding through this grant? If there are additional costs, who will pay for them?
A Because there is no Federal funding involved in the grant, the entire terminal building is eligible for funding. The funding from the State grant will cover 95% of the cost ($617,500) and local funds will cover the remaining 5% of the cost ($32,500). The amount of the grant is limited so if there are any costs that are incurred over $650,000, these will be at 100% local costs. While it is possible to build a new terminal building within this budget, you may choose to invest in improvements or enhancements that would be more expensive than normal construction such as geothermal or radiant floor heating. If you choose to add items that increase the project cost beyond the grant total, you will be responsible for paying 100% of the additional cost.
Q Can you briefly explain the 5 –Year Airport Plan that is required to be eligible for funding?
A The 5-Year Airport Plan is also known as the airport’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). This plan identifies upcoming development projects at an airport. A project must be listed on an airport’s CIP to be eligible for federal and state funding. The new terminal building has been identified on Beaver Island Airport’s CIP for the past six years.
Q Will a larger terminal increase the number of large planes/jets operating at the Airport or is the traffic expected to remain about the same?
A The new terminal may draw in additional users, but the primary goal is to better serve existing passengers. Currently, during peak periods, there is very limited space for both passengers and cargo in the terminal building for the commercial operations, leaving little, if any, room for private passengers coming/going on general aviation flights. This is also no space for private pilot activities such as flight planning or public space for vending.
Q Will the new terminal building have room for more than one airline? Will the design provide space and/or an expansion option for a second (or third) carrier?
A At the present time, one airline counter is planned with the option for expansion to accommodate additional counters at a later time.
Q How much will it cost to operate (utilities, maintenance, etc.)?
A As a part of the building design, some estimated costs of building operation and maintenance will be developed. In addition to initial building cost considerations, operating costs will help guide design decisions for things like lighting (traditional vs. LED lights) and heating and cooling systems (geothermal, solar, etc.). Maintenance costs will be considered in materials selection, too.
Q How much seating will there be and why?
A The exact amount of seating will be determined as part of the design process. The FAA provides guidance for seating based on the seating capacity of the airlines, general aviation users and peak periods of operation.
Q How will the design and construction process work?
A 1) Meet with stakeholders to glean ideas for terminal design
2) Develop design alternatives for public consideration
3) Present options to the public for comment
4) Finalize chosen design alternative (make revisions as necessary)
4.5) Approval by the Airport Commission of final design
5) Publish final plans for bidding purposes
6) Construct terminal building
7) Demolish existing terminal building
Q How will Mead & Hunt assist us during this process? What role will the project architect play?
A Mead & Hunt will provide the general project management and oversight of the terminal building as well as all of the design for the site design associated with the project. They will also provide coordination with the MDOT Office of Aeronautics. The project architect, Kendra Thompson will be responsible for the design of the terminal building and the construction administration for the building once the construction gets underway.
Q When will the public get to see some design ideas and comment on the design?
A A community input session was held on December 25th as part of a public workshop to collect information and input. The project architect anticipates meeting on a bi-weekly basis to review the project with the Commission, since those meeting are open to the public, input can also be provided as part of those sessions.
Q How soon will construction start? What will happen to the old terminal?
A The tentative schedule has construction set to occur between June and December of 2013. The old terminal will be demolished or relocated in late December 2013 or early January 2013 after the new terminal is operational.
Q What will Fresh Air Aviation pay to be in the new terminal?
A Specific rates and fees have not been determined yet and will take place as a separate discussion from the construction of the building. These fees will be determined by the Airport Commission.
Q After the terminal is done, what will the next projects be for the airport?
A The next projects for the airport will involve paving. They will include paving at least the apron expansion area and possibly the entrance road and portions of the parking lot if deemed appropriate by the Airport Commission.
Questions from Presentation to the Joint Township Board Meeting on November 28, 2012:
Q Is the length of the runway taken into consideration for this terminal project? Will the runway possibly be lengthened with the development of this new terminal?
A We know that lengthening the runway has some potential to better serve some users; however, it is not a part of this project. We are in the process of updating the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) that will incorporate the site work necessary for a runway extension. An extension will be looked at as a part of a separate ALP project, at a later date, but not as a part of this terminal building project.
Q The old terminal building will need to be taken down. Where is the money to demolish it coming from?
A The cost to demolish the building will come from the site design budget ($300,000) that is from the federal funding sources.
Q Since the money is coming from the State of Michigan and not the FAA, we have to follow the state’s regulations rather than the FAA’s regulations. What are the advantages and disadvantages of following the State of Michigan regulations compared to FAA regulations?
A The FAA has strict guidelines on what qualifies as “eligible space” within a terminal building meaning what is eligible for federal funding. For instance, the FAA does not consider conference rooms and the airport manager’s office eligible for funding. By using State of Michigan funds, we have more flexibility in how we design the space and what is eligible for funding.
Q Is there any leeway on the December 2013 deadline? What are the consequences of going over that date?
A The House Bill that approved this funding requires that the funds be spent by December 2013. By spending this money prior to the end of calendar year 2013, MDOT hopes to demonstrate the need for this funding in subsequent years. When airports are chosen for this funding, they are chosen with the expectation that the projects will be completed on time. We are not aware of any specific consequences for not meeting the deadline, since this has not been done before. However, we want to set a precedent for future projects by delivering on the process as planned.
Q There might be some concern about spending over the allowed budget; how are you going to select an architect that can comply with the budget and time restraints.
A We plan to use builders and products from Beaver Island, where feasible, to reduce project costs associated with transportation. The architects being considered have already been briefed on the schedule, budget and climate constraints. Because we are working with qualified professionals, we are very hopeful that they will be prepared to handle the project with these limits.
Q If there is a competitive bidding process and local builders or contractors don’t come in with a competitive price, how is that going to be factored in or what considerations will be given to them?
A We are required to use a competitive bidding process. Since local builders and contractors won’t have to factor in transportation prices and they understand the “costs” of doing business on the island, we are hopeful that they will be able to be successful in the bidding process. Having said that, it is a prescribed bidding process and the project will be awarded to the lowest bidder. A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be used to provide a uniform understanding of the project, its challenges and the schedule to potential bidders.
Q What items of the terminal would be ineligible for FAA funding but are eligible for the State funding?
A Things that are not directly associated with aviation activity such as a baggage area, vending area, airport manager offices, and general storage are typically not eligible for FAA funding. The whole terminal building is eligible for funding through the state grant.
Q Even though a mainland bidder may be the most competitive, that doesn’t mean that they can do it necessarily for a cheaper price.
A You make a good point. We must follow the state’s bidding process which looks at the bid that is submitted. However, we are planning to address this issue within the required bidding process. A mandatory pre-bid meeting prior to the bidding process is planned so that contractors can understand the full extent of the project and what will be required to work on the Island. This process often eliminates bids from contractors that are not local, since the mobilization requirements can be costly.
Q Is there a penalty clause for going over the bid amount?
A Yes, that is standard procedure with these types of projects. There is a liquidated damages clause which is based on the total cost of the project. This clause protects the airport, the State of Michigan, and the consultant.
Q Under the State of Michigan contract, is there an allocation that might be provided for local contractors or a small business component?
A Typically on the northern Michigan projects, the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements are waived because there aren’t competitive DBE firms. As far as a factor for small businesses, the project has to select the low-bid; therefore bid numbers cannot be adjusted to help out a small business compared to another contractor. There is no portion of the project that is required to be sub contracted out to a small business. It is possible that small-business contractors, during the mandatory pre-bid meeting, will form a relationship and bid together in a competitive nature, but that is not required by the State of Michigan.
Q What happens if you don’t get a bid under $650,000? Does the architect absolutely understand that he has to design a building that can be developed for this amount?
A Although the architect hasn’t been selected yet, those being considered have been made aware of the price for construction as part of the selection process. As the project manager, Mead & Hunt understands the strict budget and we will guide the architect toward a design that will fit the budget constraints. We may have alternates as part of the design that can be added or deleted if necessary to meet the budget needs.
Q How were the two architects that are being considered chosen?
A There was a three-person selection committee that worked with Mead & Hunt. To be considered, the architect had to have designed an airport project before. With that criterion, there were two qualified architects who were interested in designing the project. They were interviewed on Monday, December 3rd. Kendra Thompson Architects, PC, from Manistee, MI was selected as the consultant by the selection committee.
Q How do we know that the low bidder is capable of completing the project on time?
A When contractors submit their bid, they are required to include a bid bond to make sure that they are capable of handling the project. After the project is awarded, the successful bidder has to put up a performance bond. This way, if something happens and they can’t finish it, the bonding company pays for the completion of the project.
Q The plan is to demolish the old terminal. If someone wanted to purchase it and move it, is that a possibility?
A Yes, if someone is interested, then the project team will work with the demolition contractor and work out a plan for that.
Q Could you incorporate a northwest Michigan flair into this new terminal, similar to the Pellston Airport?
A Yes, an “up north” feel to the terminal is one of the design goals. This design “flair” will be balanced with the project budget. Defining this “flair” or “flavor” is an important part of the process. The project team plans to gather ideas during the community input sessions.
Q Is the data provided in this presentation specific to this airport, or is it inclusive of the aviation needs as a whole for Beaver Island?
A At this time, the project is specific to the needs of the public airport, and not the private airport. However discussions with the architects will identify potential options for future expansion, should the public airport require additional or larger facilities to support a single airport for passenger service.
Q When do you anticipate beginning the stakeholder involvement?
A Stakeholder involvement has already started. We want to engage local resident’s quickly in a discussion of design considerations, because the design alternatives need to be developed in early 2013.
A On Thursday, December 27th, two Meetings were held to begin the stakeholder involvement process. The first, at 10:00 am, was a kick-off meeting with the Airport Commission that was open to the public. The second, at 1:00 pm, was a public workshop with the Airport Commission that focused on obtaining public input for the initial design process.
A The next meeting with the Airport Commission is planned for Monday January 14, 2013.
Q Who can I contact if I have questions?
A Airport Commission Chairman, Mike Scripps – 231-855-1759 – firstname.lastname@example.org
A Airport Manager, Rachel Teague – 231-237-9482 – Rachel@freshairaviation.net
A Mead & Hunt, Stephanie Ward – 517-321-8334 Stephanie.email@example.com