Wed July 07, 2021 – Midwest Edition # 14
Gerald R. Ford International Airport broke ground on June 30 for a new $ 7.7 million operations center. (Photo from Gerald R. Ford International Airport)
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport Groundbreaking ceremony for a new $ 7.7 million operations center that will streamline and improve day-to-day management efficiency.
The new facility will consolidate key teams such as operations and communications, including dispatching, as well as the new Emergency Response Center (EOC). The EOC is activated during an emergency at Ford Airport and can also assist public safety agencies across Kent County.
According to officials, it is 11,600 square feet. becomes the “lifeline” of the airport. The building, located on the east side of the airfield, will be air-side and publicly accessible and is therefore ideal for daily operational support and can be reached in an emergency. In a second phase, Ford Airport is planning to expand the center to include its fire department on site.
“This project represents the culmination of years of effort to realign and streamline our operations and public safety functions,” said Dan Koorndyk, chief executive officer of the Gerald R. Ford Airport Authority. “By bringing our teams under one roof, we can ensure we are providing the best possible service to our guests, tenants and the entire West Michigan community.”
The building, which will be manned around the clock, will be built to withstand extreme weather conditions, including winds of up to 250 miles per hour. There will be targeted redundancies in technology and communication channels to ensure that services continue to operate during an emergency.
The facility will include a data center, video walls and special rooms for document review as well as welcoming office, conference and break rooms.
“The teams that will occupy this space are critical to our day-to-day operations,” said Tory Richardson, president and CEO of the Ford Airport Authority. “This new operations center will improve the communication, collaboration and efficiency of our teams. Without them, we would not be able to deliver the high quality service and exceptional safety record that Ford Airport is known for.”
Michigan-based DLZ is acting as the project architect while Pioneer Construction of Grand Rapids is acting as the general contractor. They are supported by Cripps Fontaine Excavating Inc.; CS Erickson; Forman glass; Gale Plumbing & Hydronics Inc .; Level 5 commercial refinement; Building specialists for metal technology; Security alarm; VanLaan concrete construction; Van Dyken mechanics; Van Dellen steel; and Westmaas Electric. The building will be equipped by Haworth through Interphase. The construction work should be completed by the end of June 2022.
Ford Airport is working with Rep. Peter Meijer’s office to help fund a joint venture for part of the project. The Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff’s Office and the Grand Rapids Police Department have all expressed their support for the project, highlighting that it will be a critical backup base in the event of a statewide emergency.
Visit flyford.org for more information. CEG