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(Janesville, WI) By Jim Leute, Gazette

Construction will start perhaps as early as next week on the terminal at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport.

The state announced Wednesday it will contribute nearly $1.2 million to the project, which will demolish the west side of the terminal building and build a new addition in its place.

The addition will provide space for airport administration offices, conference rooms, a pilot lounge and restroom facilities.

"It's a good thing and a long time coming for an energy inefficient building that has lots of needs," said Ron Burdick, the airport director.

Burdick said this would be the first project in what's estimated to be a four-project renovation at the general aviation terminal.

Subsequent projects, which are subject to funding availability, include an addition to the north side of the building and restaurant reconstruction.

The state is paying for 80 percent of the first project, with the county paying the remaining $292,000.

The overall cost of the renovation is estimated to be about $3 million.

Airport and county officials have said the renovation will address aviation and non-aviation needs, including handicapped accessibility, energy efficiency and modernizing the facility to make it more functional.

Burdick said fencing would clearly mark off the construction area on the west side of the terminal building. The construction zone includes the main doors to the terminal, so a new entrance will be available to Kealy's Kafe in the terminal building.

"The restaurant will continue to be open through the construction," Burdick said.

Also Wednesday, that state announced that it would pay for 80 percent of a $125,000 project that includes crack sealing and surface coating on the airport's north-south runway.

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