Port approves Grove Field Airport engineering contract

Johansson Architecture will design C-Row hangar

A Battle Ground company has been selected to perform the design and engineering work, to replace a burned hangar and a wind-damaged fixed-base operator building at Grove Field Airport.

Johansson Architecture, PC, was awarded a $99,550 contract during the Feb. 17 meeting of the Port of Camas-Washougal Commission. The vote was 2-0. Commissioner Bill Ward had an excused absence.

The design and engineering contract amount is covered by Enduris Insurance. The construction cost will also be covered, with the port paying a $1,000 deductible.

Construction of C-Row and the maintenance building is expected to begin by early summer, with completion to occur by the late fall.

Johansson Architecture also did engineering and design work for buildings 15 and 17, in the Steigerwald Commerce Center.

An Oct. 6, 2014, fire caused nearly $1 million in damage to 10 hangar bays, as well as eight planes and four automobiles, at Grove Field. Investigators determined that an electrical equipment failure, involving a power strip or the electrical outlet the strip was plugged into, started the fire.

The new C-Row hangar building will include eight bays, to allow for a code-required fire break.

“A fire break is a wall built and rated, so a fire cannot spread from one space to another,” said Port Project Manager Jeramy Wilcox. “It is usually rated at two hours.”

A maintenance building, known as “AP1,” will be constructed at the former site of the FBO structure.

At 6,000 square feet, it will include space for former tenant Jim Metzger, as well as flight instructors with ATC Camas.

“We are expanding to the east,” Wilcox said.

Metzger, a certified mechanic with more than 40 years of aviation experience, had leased the 2,000 square foot FBO space since 2005. A windstorm on Nov. 11, 2014, resulted in extensive roof damage, as well as movement in the concrete block walls.

Andy LaFrazia is the principal owner of ATC Camas, a flight school. Nick LaFrazia and Jim Gray are co-owners.

Gray is the chief flight instructor, and the manager, Bob Elliot, is an instructor.

Two high school students serve as interns.

“The initial plan is for the flight school to occupy the east side of the new hangar, with office space and hangar space for several airplanes,” Gray said.

ATC Camas recently added a third airplane to its training fleet.

“We can teach several levels of flying, including initial pilot training as a private pilot,” Gray said. “We can train pilots to fly in instrument conditions. We can teach pilots in advanced courses such as commercial piloting, flight instructing and airline transport licensing.”

Fern Prairie Airport is located at 632 N.E. 267th Ave., Camas.

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