Friday, February 26, 2010

The Wheels Keep Turning

Every time we get teased with a couple of warmer days at this time of year, winter reminds us it’s not done yet. It’s nothing that compares to the big snows that hit the East Coast earlier this month, but it’s just enough to move most work inside.

One of the projects that we’re doing indoors is the construction of four new tram trailers to expand and upgrade the AirVenture fleet. These tram units will be larger, carrying up to 40 people. It also means we can begin to replace some of the older units that have served us for many years.

Another indoor project that is under way is the replacement of shelving in the Wearhouse and Sky Shoppe buildings. This is where being a good scavenger comes in handy. EAA has some area members who keep us informed when a building might be torn down or completely remodeled. Many times, old fittings that would be thrown out can be reused in some of our buildings. The shelves came from a couple of those projects, allowing EAA to upgrade the facilities at little or no cost.

While these indoor projects are important, it’s just as vital to be planning for what will happen once the snow melts. One area that will change this year is the site of the old FAA control tower. There is still a lot of old pavement and assorted debris just under the ground surface there. This spring we’ll have the opportunity to redesign that area. We’ll re-route a couple of roads in that area, bury the now-overhead power lines, and move the food area so everything works a little more efficiently.

We’re also signing the contracts to redesign part of the warbirds area. That redesign will allow more hard surface parking and take some of the pressure off AeroShell Square for warbird aircraft, as well as create a better atmosphere for the Warbirds in Review programs, which have really grown in popularity. Some of the warbirds building and stands will also be moved or get a facelift. I hope to have a complete map to show you the details very soon.

The planning on some of the other projects I mentioned last time is also continuing. That includes the electric hookups in Camp Scholler, the new North 40 shower building, the chip-sealing of dirt roads, and Exhibit Hangar C expansion. Several of those projects will get underway as the snow melts and the ground thaws, while the Hangar C expansion will start right after the annual Wisconsin Public Service Farm Show in early April.

Now that we’re on the downhill side of winter, you’ll be hearing from us a little more as the projects take shape. We’ll share photos and other items in the updates as well, so stay tuned!