In the late 1950s, back when it was still new, Key West International Airport in Key West, FL handled around 20,000 passengers a year. In 2005, the airport’s peak traffic year, nearly 620,000 travelers used the airport. To say then that the airport’s terminal expansion was long overdue would be an understatement. To say the use of Englert metal roofing on the renovated and expanded terminal’s roof was a success would be an understatement too.
In its original layout, roughly 4,000 square feet of the terminal was dedicated to administrative space for airport management, rental car companies and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). A restaurant occupied another 3,000 square feet, leaving just 17,000 square feet to handle all passenger functions, including ticketing, departures, arrivals and TSA screening. By building up instead of out, 30,000 sq. ft. of new construction was added without affecting the terminal’s existing footprint. The project also involved adding a parking structure below the terminal and reconfiguring the original terminal space for efficiency and comfort. The groundbreaking ceremony for the $31 million project took place in early 2006 and the project was completed in 2009.
The terminal’s main floor is now elevated with spacious ticketing, luggage and security areas for departing passengers, and a central area for concessions, restrooms and restaurants. It also includes an area for arriving passengers who enter through a ground-level baggage claim area where car rental companies, restrooms and an office for lost luggage are all located.
Construction manager and general contractor was The Morganti Group of West Palm Brach, Florida. The firm faced a unique challenge going into the project. The terminal complex was the first Construction Management At Risk project for the Federal Aviation Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation. Unlike the traditional design-bid-build process, the Key West terminal required the project manager to guarantee that all costs incurred would fall at or below the contract price.
Other interesting aspects? Key West is at the southernmost tip of the United States—the end of the road—and largely surrounded by salt water. Getting materials to the jobsite can take three to four hours over the bridges. Add to that Florida’s annual hurricane season and you can face formidable weather conditions as well.
Morganti and its subcontractors met all the requirements and the new terminal has won a Florida Department of Transportation’s Commercial Service Airport Project Award for “outstanding achievements in airport aesthetics, safety and service.”
One of the reasons for that honor, said Airport Director Peter Horton, was the architect’s choice of a standing seam metal roof for the terminal.
URS Corporation, the project’s architect, had designed the new terminal with a 53,000 square foot Patina Green standing seam metal roof. “That choice helped with the weather and getting product into the site,” explains Major Threlkeld, president of MET Roofing, Inc. the Miami-based roofing company that installed the roof. “The Englert Series 2000 standing seam roof met Miami-Dade County and Florida Building Department requirements for wind uplift in a hurricane,” explains Threlkeld. “And we were able to use our own equipment to rollform the roof panels onsite, eliminating the need to bring finished panels and store them at the airport.”
In addition, notes Airport Director Horton, “After nearly five years of baking in the harsh subtropical sun down here in Key West Florida, our Airline Terminal Building roof looks as good today as it did on the day it was installed.”