Wilmington Air Park pursues $3.7 million project


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



This aerial photo shows the existing Wilmington Air Park, which may have a portion of it carved out as a 37-acre development site.


Courtesy photo

WILMINGTON — The Dayton Development Coalition has ranked a proposed facility at the air park as its fifth-highest priority among rural projects for upcoming State Capital Budget Bill consideration.

The Clinton County Port Authority, which owns and manages the Wilmington Air Park, is seeking $1.8 million toward the construction of an Airport Facilities and Equipment Maintenance complex, and about 10,000 square feet of office space.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.7 million, and the Port Authority would help finance it.

According to a summary of the project submission: “The current facility is antiquated, and in excess of 50 years old. Given advances in equipment diagnostics and facility management systems, it is important to provide the staff with the facilities and technology necessary to maintain airport and real estate management and maintenance services at the highest level, so as to retain and attract aviation-related and other tenants.”

Moreover, relocating those operations will facilitate the creation of a pad-ready development site for construction of industrial, office and aviation-related facilities. This process would include demolishing existing, outdated facilities located on a portion of the air park, added the summary, and ultimately would yield an approximately 37-acre development site.

Having the Dayton Development Coalition rate the proposed facility as one of its priority projects is a “third-party validation” that “adds legitimacy and credibility” to the Port’s effort to obtain external funding for the project, Port Authority Executive Director Daniel G. Evers said this week.

“Our plan going forward is to relocate LGSTX Services, Inc. into the majority of this space if we are able to successfully proceed,” said Evers.

He described the two-part strategy that includes both a new facility and a 37-acre development site as “a solid plan and one that would yield dividends for the community as a whole, and also be beneficial to our existing tenants.”

In the most recent State Capital Budget Bill two years ago, Ohio awarded $3 million in capital funds to the air park for aviation-related infrastructure improvements, “for which we remain extremely grateful,” Evers said.

The mission of the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) is to recruit, expand and retain jobs in a 14-county Dayton region. The DDC website states the organization actively promotes the region’s assets at the state and national levels.

There are other proposed projects in Clinton County hoping to receive State Capital Budget Bill funds. They include a new Blanchester Pool and Recreation Center facility, and an indoor running track on the Wilmington College campus in memory of Jenna Parlette.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

This aerial photo shows the existing Wilmington Air Park, which may have a portion of it carved out as a 37-acre development site.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_DSC_2094-1.jpgThis aerial photo shows the existing Wilmington Air Park, which may have a portion of it carved out as a 37-acre development site. Courtesy photo

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com