New KCI plan much cheaper than current concepts

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 09:07:20-05

A new renovation plan for Kansas City International Airport would cost hundreds of millions of dollars less than plans presented to City Council in December.

The new plan was put together by Crawford Architects, based in Kansas City, and a group of a dozen planners and builders during a recent workshop.

Terminal A would be renovated for about $335 million in the new plan.

Architect Stacey Jones said the plan addresses all the criteria for a new airport design.

"We added more meat to the building's width and the areas where it was needed," explained Jones, who showed off the plans on Wednesday. "We addressed the retail, security, and baggage claim areas."

Jones added that a similar plan to renovate terminal B at KCI would have the same price tag.

After renovations at both terminals, Jones said KCI would have the recommended amount of gates needed to handle increased traffic expected in future decades. Jones said his plans would redo the roads going around the horseshoe design of the terminals and renovate parking garages by adding more levels for cars.

The plan put forward by Jones is significantly cheaper than renovation and rebuilding plans presented to City Council in December last year.

A study group organized by the city's aviation department and airline leaders showed plans to council members and revealed costs. According to the group, two final concepts to rebuild KCI into a single-terminal facility would cost between $964 million and $972 million. Renovations to the current design, on the other hand, would cost between $1.04 billion and $1.19 billion.

City Councilwoman Teresa Loar, who took office in August, asked for the study from Crawford Architects after she had questions about the talks regarding the future of KCI.

"They threw up some numbers on a PowerPoint [in December]," she explained. "I asked for line items on those numbers. It's Jan. 20, and I still don't have them."

Loar said she hopes the findings of this new study lead council members to take a fresh look at the issue.

City Council is now going over the plan from Crawford Architects, checking for accuracy and seeing if it meets the criteria for the next design of KCI. The City Manager's Office is expected to make a formal recommendation to City Council on whether to renovate or rebuild KCI in May.

City leaders say the decision on the future of KCI will ultimately be voted on by the public.






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