Christmas rush in their sights

The front of the refurbished Merimbula Airport is starting to take shape with painting underway.

Inside there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of wall cladding and fittings but wires for electricity and plumbing works are ready to be connected.

Project manager Jenny Symons said the terminal was on track to be ready for the Christmas rush.

With the recent windy weather flagged beforehand, Ms Symons got a crane on site to speed up the roof work and "get ahead of the wind". The large overhang will help protect against the western sun and angled louvres will also be used in front of the windows, Ms Symons said.

Following the discovery of white ants in a part of the building it was decided to replace just that particular area. There has been a lot of commentary suggesting that it would have been cheaper to knock the entire building down and start again but Ms Symons said the refurbishment work still only came out at 30 per cent of the replacement cost.

"It is counter-intuitive but it was based on advice from both the quantity surveyors and architect. Also the part of the building built in the 1950s proved particularly resilient," she said.

Completely knocking over the building would also have meant rebuilding to the latest guidelines which would have involved taking out the entire slab as well, Ms Symons explained.

Now the roof is on, the external walls are 80 per cent completed and the internal walls will be finished during the next month.

The departure lounge will be large enough for 70 people and both the arrival and departure lounges will have benches with power for anyone wishing to use their laptop.

There will also be a meeting room available for people to hire.

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