Cat Murphy The Murfreesboro Post
Airport Project Crosses First Hurdle at Murfreesboro City Council
March 21, 2017
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  • On behalf of Mayor Shane McFarland, Vice Mayor Madeline Scales Harris was pleased to proclaim last week “Blue Raider Basketball Week” at Thursday night’s meeting.

    “We showed up and we showed out,” said Harris of MTSU’s recent wins.

    Two contracts were also approved at the meeting, both of which mark the beginning of work on a new terminal for Murfreesboro Municipal Airport.

    The City Council approved contracts with Michael Baker International and Adkins North America, both engineering firms, to help design and plan for the new building at the recommendation of Airport Manager Chad Gehrke.

    “Chad, I just want to commend you and all the folks at the Airport Commission,” said Councilman Bill Shacklett. “I think we will all be proud of what we see on the ground out there when this project comes to completion. Because honestly, if you don’t have the occasion to go to the airport, you don’t realize how much is done through our airport. A lot of commerce, a lot of recreation, a lot of people whose first introduction to our community is the airport.”

    “You’re high flyers,” said Councilman Eddie Smotherman.

    “This is another example of the great city we live in,” agreed Scales.

    “It’s scary and exciting all at the same time,” said Gehrke after the meeting. “The whole front of the airport, whether you’re coming in from the community or you’re flying in from a different community, that whole area will change dramatically.”

    Plans for the new terminal include a multipurpose room that could function as a meeting space for business people flying in on tight tight schedules. Since there isn’t really a defined meeting space on that side of town, Gehrke believes the terminal’s multipurpose room could fill the void.

    “We would love to be that place where different organizations come, and it’s a really cool view. From the second floor you’ll be able to see airplanes take off and land.”

    He also hopes the space will be useful to MTSU’s aerospace program.

    “They once hosted, just a few years ago, a Chinese general aviation consortium.”

    Gehrke said they cleaned out “a nice hanger” in lieu of a meeting room, but a multipurpose space in the new hanger would mean nicer accommodations for welcoming international guests.