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Airport rebuilding process slow

Faces tornado, water and expansion plans

The runway side of Jim’s Flyin’ Diner shows that some repair work has been done, but a lot still remains. The building on the left is the terminal, slated for rebuilding next year. This year’s goal is to rebuild the blue hanger. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
July 01, 2012
SOUTHBRIDGE — The town is still slowly wading its way through the process of rebuilding the airport, after the Town Council unanimously approved giving a contract to Stantec Engineering to design new hangars at its last meeting.

Even that work is just one part of a much longer effort that, ultimately, will provide the facility with public water, a longer runway and several new buildings when complete over the next several years. Most of those were in the airport master plan, but not necessarily in the order they now have to be done.

"We certainly have a lot on our plate these days," observed Manager James Latour, who said he had received the draft plan three days after last June's tornado wiped out several of the buildings it covered. "…We had to circular file our plan and start over. It had 5-year goals and 20-year goals, but the tornado made us rethink the whole process."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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