Reliable Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, more outlets for phone charging and easier access to amenities were among the most important characteristics of a new single terminal airport highlighted by attendees at the KCI Community Design Workshop on Tuesday, December 5.
The KCI-Edgemoor team is making its way to all corners of the metropolitan area with a series of community feedback sessions packed into a tight two-week timeframe. The meetings began on November 29 at the Kansas City Police Academy (6885 NE Pleasant Valley Rd.) and will conclude on December 14 at KCPD’s South Patrol (9701 Marion Park Dr.). On December 5, though, the team made its way to the Gregg/Klice Community Center in the 18th and Vine District.
The meeting began with introductions from 3rd District Councilmen Jermaine Reed and Quinton Lucas, who were joined by Wesley Stith of Clark Construction and Edgemoor Managing Director Geoff Stricker.
Stith discussed the estimated 17,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in economic opportunity that will be created as a result of the airport project, while also highlighting a community benefit agreement that will focus on creating job opportunities all over the city.
“We have to create transportation in areas where folks are limited (with) vehicles to get out to the airport to get the work,” Stith said. “We’ve been meeting with different transportation services on how we’re going to do that, where the bus stops should be, and all of that. That may be a discussion tonight…what do you think they should do?”
In addition to transportation, Stith noted that Edgemoor is committed to providing child care and medical services for the project’s local work force.
“This will be a medical facility just for that site,” Stith said.
The majority of the meeting was committed to soliciting feedback from the area residents who attended. Those efforts included an interactive survey, led by Stricker, which focused on user priorities for Kansas City International – which now transports roughly three times as many passengers as it did when it first opened in 1972. The meeting concluded with breakout sessions moderated by representatives from the Edgemoor team.
Regarding the current KCI set-up, attendees lamented the lack of options for sitting and eating, the dangers of navigating the drop-off/pick-up area as a pedestrian, and the reduced convenience that came with the onset of a robust TSA screening process. Regarding Edgemoor’s plans, attendees approved of the focus on creating more comfortable lounge areas, the commitment to convenient parking, and the proposed “people mover” walkway that would connect the two sections of the single terminal.
After the meeting, Councilman Reed reflected on what he’s heard from residents during the community design workshops.
“The biggest thing has been convenience, and people wanting to make sure that the airport reflects the authenticity of our city,” Reed said. “Several other things have been the amenities within the airport, from concessions to restaurants, facilities for nursing mothers, and places for military members. I’ve enjoyed listening and talking to people.”
Regarding the Memorandum of Understanding between Edgemoor and the city, which is set to be discussed during the December 7 meeting of the airport committee, Reed suggested that the Council could conclude its due diligence and approve the MOU before Christmas.
“Edgemoor has shown themselves to operate in good faith,” Reed said. “I think it will be an early Christmas gift.”