GUC makes winter layout adjustments

Warm weather has helped with progress

[ By Katherine Nettles ]

While the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) terminal improvement project has hit serious delays due to the supply issues felt across the country, a recent drive to make progress in time for winter has been successful with roofing underway and a temporary indoor passenger holding area. County manager Matthew Birnie reported to county commissioners during their December 7 meeting that the airport has made several adjustments during this unseasonably warm, dry early winter to better accommodate passengers for the coming months when the hope is for more wintry conditions and much more snowfall.

“We’ve been on a big push to make the transition from using tents outside to making some parts of the facility available for the winter,” he said.

The security screening has officially switched over to the newly constructed permanent screening area where it will now stay. Other areas such as the upstairs holding room have been moved into temporarily, but they are not a finished product and will later be evacuated so they can be fully finished. Birnie said for now, people are able to board from the hold room rather than using the chilly outdoor tent setup in place for the past few months. “Those areas are not complete, but that allows us to get folks in out of the weather while we continue to work on the building.”

The roofing has also started, said Birnie.

“Probably the only good thing about the weather, other than it has been enjoyable, has been for these projects. We do need the water, but it has allowed us to make some good progress,” he concluded.

If using the airport anytime soon or bringing in friends or family, it might still be a good idea to make sure everyone has their outer layers on hand given the changing nature of the remodel.

Gunnison County Tourism and Prosperity Partnership executive director John Norton told the Crested Butte News this week that, “At least for the moment, the flights are doing well for this season.”

The arrival of snow might reinforce the trend, if upcoming forecasts hold true.

Birnie also said the new Gunnison Library project, another active construction project, is “pretty well closed in for winter,” with the roof on and framing almost complete inside. The glass is not yet in, but openings are covered and windows will be arriving in the next few weeks, he said.

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