Last week was a little slower time on the grounds for a couple of reasons: First, the Thanksgiving Day break, and second, many crew members were on the annual weeklong holiday here in Wisconsin known as deer hunting season.
Still, there were some items that got done. We started installing the perimeter fencing near the new main gate. During AirVenture, many people don’t even notice the fence because of all the entry points to the grounds. But it’s part of the requirements for airport properties these days, and Winnebago County is no exception when it comes to Wittman Regional Airport. We’re trying to get the fence placed before the frost seeps too far into the ground.
We’re also expecting to set some of the buildings into their new positions near the main gate later this week, weather permitting. This includes the main-gate admission buildings and the computer operations building.
We’re interested to see what we discover in some of the buildings come spring. Each fall, some of the portable buildings (or the spaces underneath them) become handy winter dens for all sorts of wildlife, including raccoons, skunks, opossums, and the like. This fall, though, there’s been much more human activity on the grounds than usual, so we haven’t seen as many of these creatures holing up on the grounds. We’ve seen a white owl on the grounds near the old tower this week, probably looking for the mice that make their nests in some of the buildings.
Finally, in the Q&A file: Another question I’ve received is what will happen to a section of campsites on Doolittle Road, near where the Fly-In Theater has been for the past three years. Some of the thousands of site-plan comments we received during AirVenture last summer helped us find a solution to preserve that area. So it will remain. It’s not always possible to keep certain areas as-is when a site is undergoing such a massive change, but it’s gratifying when we can find a solution in a particular area.