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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


MoDOT, Federal Stimulus Funds Benefit Airport Project

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (June 18, 2009) – Completed grant documents providing $1.7 million for improvements at the Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport were presented to the UCM Board of Governors and President Aaron Podolefsky Thursday, June 18.

The presentation was made by Brian Weiler, multimodal operations director for the Missouri Department of Transportation, who visited briefly with the board after speaking to a class of UCM aviation students. He thanked the university for moving quickly to provide documentation needed to secure funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funds were provided to MoDOT, which is issuing them to UCM in the form of a grant.

Quick Action Produces Results

“What we normally ask you to do in several months, we asked you to do in several weeks,” he told the board, noting that economic stimulus funds are being targeted to “shovel-ready” projects.

The funds will cover the major part of an airport paving project that will cost approximately $2 million, Podolefsky said. The difference will be made up through MoDOT.

According to Larry Ray, UCM manager of capital development, grant funds will help pay for concrete work on 43,000 square feet of airport property. A new apron will be built, accommodating up to 50 university and privately owned aircraft, and the university will move forward with concrete work north of the existing terminal building. This space will serve as the future site for construction of six 10-bay T-hangars, and T-hangar taxi lanes. An access road connecting to the existing east-west access road also will be constructed leading to the hangars and future terminal area. The university must secure additional funds to build the new terminal and hangar.

Contract Awarded

The university’s governing board in April approved a motion authorizing the award of a contract up to $2.3 million to the successful bidder for the airport improvement project. Following the bidding process, the university has accepted a $1.9 million bid from Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc., Columbia, MO, to perform the construction, which begins July 1.

Weiler said MoDOT has a long history of working with the university to secure funding that enables the airport to better serve general aviation needs, serve as a community and state economic resource, and “make it a premier aviation training facility in the Midwest.”  This commitment has translated into nearly $6 million in state and federal funding since 2001.      

MoDOT Funding to Airport
Final grant documents providing $1.7 million in federal stimulus funds to improve the Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport were presented to UCM President Aaron Podolefsky, fifth from left, and the Board of Governors by Brian Weiler, multimodal operations director for the Missouri Department of Transportation. Board members joining in the presentation were, from left, Mary Long, Edward L. Baker, student board member Ryan Sanders, Board Secretary Weldon Brady, Deleta Williams, Board President Richard Phillips, Larry Fick, and Board Vice President Walt Hicklin.