Terrazzo floors will be reused in new KCI airport terminal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When travelers talk about what they like about KCI Airport, convenience is at the top of the list. But right behind it are the terrazzo floors.

Designers plan to reuse medallion art and terrazzo in the new terminal.

The terrazzo floors were part of a 2000 renovation of the KCI terminals, and they immediately proved to be a signature feature of the airport.

Artists created a welcoming element in the blue terrazzo, which represents bands of sky.

Designers of the new KCI say they will remove 39 mosaic medallions and 900 square feet of terrazzo from Terminal A to reuse in the floor of the new terminal.

It's a labor intensive process to salvage because the terrazzo is tightly bonded to eight inches of concrete underneath.

One council member questioned whether it's worth the expense, for a project that's already seeing ballooning costs.

But those who like the idea say it's all part of the existing plan.

"It’s something we can afford," airport committee chair Jolie Justus said. "I also want to point out we have one percent for the arts program and so there’s always a focus on making sure we tie the arts into any of our public infrastructure projects. This will be one component of that. I’m confident it's part of the budget we are looking at, at this time. We are not doing anything that exceeds the scope of what is in front of the airlines at this point."

The committee also learned how the federal government shutdown is impacting airport operations.

KCI has private security screeners that are paid by contract. But that contract expires at the end of the month. In February, screeners will have to work without being paid, and there's concern that's when we may see more of the estimated 350 workers not show up for their shifts.

Airport leaders say the shutdown also is slowing down federal approval of an environmental assessment for construction of the new terminal.

A cost sharing agreement also has yet to be finalized. Aviation Director Patrick Klein says there have been two "very good" meetings with the airlines but says he's still not ready to announce a deal.

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