CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Construction is complete on a more than $700,000 renovation project at Yeager Airport.Officials hosted an official ribbon cutting of the Executive Air terminal Wednesday afternoon.The newly renovated terminal, which serves private aircraft, features a seating area with new black leather couches and chairs, conference areas with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, updated restrooms and LED accent lighting. Before the renovation, the terminal seated 10 to 12 people and had an outdated look, airport director Rick Atkinson said. Now, between the couches and the conference areas, the area seats more than 40, he said. "It's modern but warm and inviting," Atkinson said of the space now. "For many people who are going to make investment decisions in West Virginia, their first impression of West Virginia is when they get off the plane and walk through those doors."The Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority paid for the building renovations, while Executive Air paid for furniture, he said. Atkinson said the airport authority wanted a design that conveyed a sense of welcoming and what West Virginia has to offer. "I think the architect and the contractor have been able to do that with this project," he said.In the conference areas are tables made from the shiny metal wings from old airplanes. Six flat-screen televisions hang on the terminal walls. There's also a flight-planning area with computers and a printer. Mason Proudfoot of Cincinnati-based Bascon Inc. was the architect for the project. Proudfoot specializes in aviation work, Atkinson said. RC General Contractors of Charleston did the construction, he said. From design to finish, the project took 16 months. Construction has been going on for the last four and a half months, he said."I think that people will be very, very surprised at the changes in the facility and just how nice it looks," Atkinson said. "I think it'll make a great statement for the people who use the facility traveling to West Virginia." Shawn Westfall, chief pilot for Executive Air, said the way the terminal looked before was suited for when it was designed -- 17 years ago. Now the terminal has a much more modern feel, he said. "It's nice to see stuff like this," Westfall said. "It's nice to see the airport putting up money to keep the facility up with the rest of the industry." Reach Lori Kersey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1240.
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