LEE Companies, a Gary, IN based Development and Project Management firm, has been selected to serve as the construction manager for the adaptive reuse of an existing building into the new Customs Facility at the Gary/Chicago International Airport.
The addition of a Customs Facility will allow the airport to capture a broader segment of the Chicago Aviation Market, specifically incoming international flights with 20 or fewer passengers. Currently the airport has outgoing international flights, but incoming international flights go through customs at a different airport before arriving in Gary.
The project will optimize an underutilized portion of an existing airport building that currently houses the Airport's Rescue and Firefighting departments. LEE Companies was selected for both their long history with construction at the Gary Chicago International Airport as well as their extensive experience retrofitting public facilities.
The plan was approved in August by Customs and Border Protection and will include the addition of pre and post processing areas, a general customs and border office, and specialized facilities designed to carry out the processes of the CBP. The total space to be repurposed is approximately 2,500 square feet.
The architect of record is NGC Aviation Consultants, an Indiana-based airport engineer, with extensive experience designing facilities at the Gary Chicago International Airport, including the recent runway expansion.
Last year, fuel sales at the Gary/Chicago International Airport increased at a rate that exceeds the rate of new take-offs, indicating that larger jets are flying further, thanks in part to the newly renovated runway.
"Construction of the new Customs Facility will improve the airport's ability to compete and attract new fliers while enhancing our marketability to the corporate, cargo, and general aviation flying communities," said Dan Vicari, the airport's Executive Director.
Certain aspects of the renovation will begin immediately including addressing the roof. "We want to beat the weather to provide a dry secure working environment through the winter," said LEE Companies Senior Project Manager Rachel Field. "We've have already begun soliciting quotes for multiple aspects of the renovation based on the GCIAA's procurement policies that encourage DBE and local company participation."
LEE Companies is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and its project managers are LEED® Accredited Professionals.