Originally posted by the Stevens Point Journal
The community showed up to support the project, with members of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce and the Portage County Business Council (Chamber of Commerce) in attendance, in addition to others. Each group was able to celebrate the regional achievement with their own ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the opening of the terminal.
“We’re here representing a regional effort,” said Todd Kuckkahn, the executive director of the Portage County Business Council. “It’s an important driver. Getting people into the region is important.”
Andrew Halverson, former mayor of the city of Stevens Point, said the new terminal was not just a successful example of greater regional and economic partnerships, but represented a gateway to the world economy for central Wisconsin.
The CWA was constructed in 1969, and was remodeled for the first time in 1987. The need for the renovation became clear, said current airport director Brian Grefe, in the early 2000s because the airport couldn’t keep up with the added security requirements after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“The flow was very challenging,” he said of the pre-construction airport. “So the front side was reconstructed.”
During the event, Edward Losinski also spoke about his experience at the airport — he voted to have it placed in Mosinee in 1969, much to the dismay of other rural farmers with whom he served on the Portage County Board.
“I was involved in the the planning and dreaming stage,” he said.
Today, Losinski is 91 years old, and though there aren’t many signs of that first airport remaining, he said he’s happy to still be involved.
“I’m proud to be here,” he said. “And have four generations of family that use this airport.”
In the future, Grefe said there are no plans to add on to the terminal, but the airport will begin a master plan process that will assess what the future holds for the airport. Runway configurations will also be assessed, as they are currently outside of Federal Aviation Administration standards.
“They are used at other airports throughout the United States, it’s just not standard,” Grefe said. “So we’ll be looking at if there’s a way we can better the situation.”
Contact Going Out reporter Laura Schulte at 715-297-7532 or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @schultelaura. Contact Abbey White at 715-845-0654 or email@example.com; on Twitter @abwhite13.