Plans to expand the Rapid City Regional Airport hits a roadblock

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 4:56 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Tuesday, Mead and Hunt, the consulting firm contracted to plan and design the Rapid City Regional Airport expansion, presented their concept design to the Airport Board.

The plan involves expanding TSA, moving the administrative offices, and enlarging the baggage claim area and concourse from 7 gates to 12; all while keeping an attractive design style.

“The airport is definitely a gateway to Rapid City. We don’t just want to put up, you know, a shanty or anything like that, “said one board member.

However, the plan was met with some opposition over one issue in particular: money.

“I’ll be honest with you, this price tag is getting to where I’m just shocked. I felt like I was shocked last time and now we’re jacking it up 20 percent. Unless somebody can sit down and show me some kind of audit that says ‘yes, this type of engineering and this level of work, this makes sense.’ This is a lot of money and I just feel as a board member it’s getting outside my ability to say ‘yeah, this makes sense and I’m going to vote for it,” expressed another board member.

“I think the concept shown looked great, they’re nice and everything like that, but at what cost for that? What is our top-end budget and how do we match the design to meet that need.”

“Somewhere, it seems like there needs to be a check of ‘yep, this amount of money makes sense on the engineering piece and this amount of money makes sense on the design.’ I feel like now I’m getting into I don’t know how to approve this.”

In the end, the board moved to have an independent party break down and justify all of the prices. They will revisit the plan at their October meeting.