Ohio State University’s Don Scott Field will be getting a new $13.4 million terminal and educational building, with work expected to start in late May.
The project, the largest portion of a $20 million overhaul at the airport, was one of several approved by OSU trustees on Friday.
“This is a large-scale renovation that will create a portal to Columbus… as well as to the university,” said Rudy Buchheit, associate dean of Academic Affairs and Administration for the OSU College of Engineering, which oversees the airport. “This will address all three parts of our mission: education, research and service.”
Whiting-Turner will be the construction manager for the project. Moody Nolan is the design architect.
The airport, on Columbus’ Northwest Side, grew over decades with a hodgepodge of buildings that now are outdated. It’s the fourth-busiest airport in Ohio based on takeoffs and landings. It is one of only a handful of airports operated by research universities.
Work is already underway on a $5 million project to add new hangar space for planes at the airport, more than doubling the current 50-plane capacity.
There has been a long waiting list for spots. Worthington Industries and Cardinal Health are among the major companies that are regular users of the OSU airport.
The airport is among the less than 1 percent of general-aviation airports in the country that are considered an airport of national importance by the federal government. This means it would be given priority status to keep operational in the event of an emergency. It is used by MedFlight, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the CIA.
The university is working on a new comprehensive 10-year plan for the airport, which is expected to be completed within 12 to 18 months. The plan is being funded by a $10 million grant from the Knowlton Foundation.