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November 27, 2018

“Green” airport terminal slated for July opening

Photo/Don Del Rosso
The new terminal’s elevator shaft rises behind Warrenton-Fauquier Airport Manager Dave Darrah.
The new, 10,000-square-foot terminal will cost $4.5 million, with the state paying 58 percent.
Everything is futuristic. It’s all planned for the future. This is a 50-year building.
— Airport Director Dave Darrah
Warrenton-Fauquier Airport
• Owner: Fauquier County.

• Where: 5075 Airport Road, Midland.

• Director: David Darrah.

• Employees: 3 full-time, 1 part-time.

• Size: About 406 acres.

• Fiscal 2018 budget: $732,851.

• Phone: 540-422-8285.

• Website: Click here.

• Facebook: Click here.
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Staff Journalist
To hear him tell it, Fauquier will get a “green,” state-of-art airport terminal.

At 10,000 square feet, the two-story, county-owned building at Warrenton-Fauquier Airport on Route 610 near Midland will include a geothermal cooling/heating system, a rooftop rain “harvesting” system to meet the terminal’s water needs and a network of solar panels to power the place, Director Dave Darrah said.

“The whole idea is two-fold,” Mr. Darrah explained. “One, to be as efficient green-wise as we can, to be sustainable.

“The other piece is to keep the cost of operating the building down to a nice, manageable amount.”

Culpeper-based Taft Companies began work on the $4.5-million terminal building in the fall.

As of Monday, crews had poured the structure’s foundation and installed the elevator’s base and the concrete block stairwell shaft.

“The second part of December, we’re scheduled to have the steel come in,” Mr. Darrah said. “So the vertical beams will start going up and you’ll have an outline of the building.

“We hope to be operational next July. Get our bearings. August ribbon cutting. That’s the plan.”

Designed by Richmond-based Price Simpson Harvey, the terminal will include a conference room, “warming” kitchen and office space — all of which will be available to businesses and the community, Mr. Darrah said.

Potential uses could include a satellite sheriff’s office, added the retired Marine colonel, who has headed the 406-acre airport since 2012.

Under a cost-share program, the Virginia Department of Aviation pays 58 percent of the construction cost of new terminals' public-use areas and the local governments cover the balance.

The state agency’s share totals about $2.6 million.

Fauquier Supervisor Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run District) stressed the terminal and related airport improvements’ economic development benefits.

“I think it’s going to help promote another commercial area for the county,” as called for in Fauquier’s comprehensive plan, Mr. Gerhardt said in an interview.

Fauquier Economic Development Director Miles Friedman believes airport upgrades will make the county “an even more attractive location for regional, national and international companies.”

Thriving regional airports “also can become development hubs, particularly for aviation-related businesses,” Mr. Friedman said in an email.

Under the planned system, rooftop rainwater would be collected in an underground 20,000-gallon tank, treated and then pumped back to the terminal.

Fauquier eventually plans to extend central water and sewer to the airport and surrounding industrial land.

But, “our goal is to never have” the terminal “hooked up to public water,” Mr. Darrah said. “Pure rain water that’s been harvested and cleaned properly — it’s to die for. It tastes great.

“It cleaner than anything coming out of the ground or out of the rivers.”

But the county won’t immediately connect the water collection because Virginia lacks rules to govern rainwater harvesting for public consumption and use, Mr. Darrah said.

With the help of Del. Michael J. Webert (R-18th/Marshall) and others, “we’re working through that process to get legislation to recognize rainwater harvesting and how to regulate.”

The county could get state administrative approval to use the system, while the Virginia General Assembly prepares and approves regulations for rainwater harvesting practices, Mr. Darrah said.

Barring that, the terminal will be served by well water on an interim basis until legislation “catches up to the technology,” the Stafford County resident said.

What will the airport do for water during a drought?

“Truck it in and put it in” the storage tank, Mr. Darrah said. “That’s really cheap.”

Rooftop solar panels will satisfy the terminal’s daytime electricity needs, he said.

The panels will cover 6,000 to 8,000 square feet of the roof, said Taft Companies Vice President Michael Truschel.

“Our goal is to be near net-zero (increase) for the amount of electricity I’m pulling from the electrical company,” Mr. Darrah said.

A 40,000-gallon underground water tank will serve the terminal’s sprinkler system.

The terminal’s exterior materials will include red brick, granite and metal panels.

“One of the things I want to do is capture what Virginia, what Fauquier’s about and all,”
Mr. Darrah said. “We’re using the same color and style brick that Jefferson used on his home. So it’s going to be distressed looking.”

Architectural, green features, exterior and interior materials and finishes will make the terminal “pretty unique,” said Mr. Truschel, whose company last year constructed the trash transfer station at Fauquier’s landfill just south of Warrenton.

“I think it’s going to be something that’s really going to be a step above what most airport terminals are,” he said. “The green aspects are huge. There’s probably nothing in the country that’ll match what they’re doing here.”

Besides the rainwater harvest, solar energy and geothermal heating and cooling systems, the terminal will include LED lights and high-efficiency windows and walls, Mr. Truschel said.

“Everything is futuristic,” Mr. Darrah added. “It’s all planned for the future. This is a 50-year building.”

Airport-related investments could reach $27.6 million by 2028, with the local contribution totaling almost $1.5 million, according to director.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.
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Matthew Smith · November 30, 2018 at 8:44 pm
You must have missed the article stating that the County is only contributing $1.2MM toward the new terminal. The rest is coming from a private donor and the state. This is a modest amount to pay for the replacement of the aging terminal.
I find it interesting that some folks who don’t want their taxes increased also don’t support economic development. After all, the County’s Comprehensive Plan shows this part of Midland as an industrial center and the airport is a strategic part of this plan. The adage “you’ve got to spend money to make money” comes to mind. Economic development is key to keeping our taxes low.
Every Cedar Run citizen that I’ve spoken to agrees with me that Supervisor Gerhardt is doing a fabulous job representing us. I’ve been impressed.
nonewtaxes · November 28, 2018 at 11:18 pm
Since the airport had been arounf for awhile it would be nice if Rick Gerhardt could provibe some measure of how the average county citizen has benefited from the airport.

Since less than 1% of the popualation own an plane who does this benefit? It's not likely it benefits the masses. Vote Gerhardt out.

Ben Cohen · November 28, 2018 at 1:41 pm
Feed the rich. Maybe the Kardashians will fly in in their chartered 737. Smells of an entitled vanity project.
Melrose Carter · November 28, 2018 at 10:03 am
This is better then building a typical building but what is green about more jets flying in and out of the terminal then before. Jet fuel isn't green or the emissions coming off the planes. Economic development for who, the already wealthy?
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