Barkley Regional Airport is hosting a contractor outreach workshop on its new passenger terminal project today at the Julian Carroll Convention Center.

Two sessions will be held — one at 10 a.m. and one at 2 p.m. — in the Cumberland ballroom. The workshops will include a project overview and review of Federal Aviation Administration provisions.

“The goal is just to try to educate the local contractors of the opportunities that are going to be coming up in the project,” said Dennis Rouleau, airport executive director.

“It’s in our best interest to get as many bidders as possible for the project as well as extend the economic outreach to the community.”

The workshops will be of interest to contractors both big and small due to the scope of the project, which can include fencing, sewer work, utilities, concrete, electrical painting, and landscaping, among others, according to Rouleau.

“A small contractor can hand out business cards and at least be known if there’s a larger contractor that’s going to take the whole thing. They’re going to be looking for subs (sub-contractors) as well,” he said.

“If a sub is a disadvantaged business enterprise and they make themselves known, that will certainly help them as well.”

While the overall project is estimated to be in the $42 million range, today’s workshop focuses on the first phase, the entrance road and the “apron,” the area intended to accommodate aircraft for, among other things, loading or unloading passengers or cargo.

The bids being sought for the first phase will be in the $10-million to $15-million range, according to Rouleau.

“What I want people to understand is this (project) is not just a building, this is a whole new complete site area,” he said.

“So, part of the money is for the building, part of the money is for a new concrete apron and then all the furnishings within the building, installing a jetway and a new entrance road off of Fisher Road and all utilities.

“It isn’t just a terminal, it’s a new parking area, a new rent-a-car area, everything is going to be completely new.”

Rouleau estimates the terminal building will cost roughly half of the overall project.

“We’re trying to keep it under $20 million. The FAA allots $20 million for an airport our size,” he said.

“The money we’re seeking this year is 100% federal money, so there won’t be any local or state share involved. We could potentially save at least $600,000 in local expenses because of (money available from) the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.”

According to Rouleau, the amount of local funds needed for the project is not yet known.

“We’re seeing that (local match needed) coming down. We were initially looking at $10 million local match, $5 million that was coming from the state of Kentucky, and $5 million from other sources of funding,” he said.

“Whether we find another federal grant or another state grant, or local, has to be determined.

“But we see that number coming down.”

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