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Hangar renovation may be done by October

Published 11:13am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The World War II-era hangar at the Bainbridge-Decatur County Airport could be renovated by October or November.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners, County Administrator Gary Breedlove said that the project is about to get underway, and should take about 90 days to complete.

In September 2012, the county received a grant of approximately $200,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Transportation, which had funding available to help improve small community airports. The grant required a 3.75-percent local match of about $10,000, which local businessman Alec Poitevint has agreed to pay.

The hangar was built in 1942 and has 28,000 square feet of capacity. It is structurally sound and typically houses between 10 and 11 airplanes, whose owners pay a hangar rental fee to the county. However, the painted metal is rusted and peeling and the exterior is in generally rough shape.

Breedlove said Tuesday that the county has enough money to repair the roof and renovate the south side of the hangar, which is the side that has the large doors. There is not enough money in the grant to complete a renovation of the north side, he said.

“If you go around the back, it’s not going to look like it’s been renovated,” he said. “But it will be more aesthetically pleasing on the south side, and there will be pilots who fly into our airport just to see it. It will improve our image to those who come in to hunt, or fish, or purchase fuel for their planes.

“It’s one of the few World War II era hangars in the state of Georgia that has been renovated for its original purpose — which is to hangar aircraft.”

Garrison Design & Construction, of Tallahassee, Fla., won the bid to do the renovation.

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“They’re really motivated about it and excited to do this project,” Breedlove said. “Once they hit the site and start working, we’re probably looking at about 90 days to do the project. Reasonably, I think we’re looking at October or November, as a timeframe for completion.

“Mr. [Alec] Poitevint has also offered to pay for hosting a dedication reception for the project.”

In his offer to pay for the county’s portion of the project cost, Poitevint asked for the location of the hangar, in the Industrial Park, to be recognized as “Lynn, Ga.”

Poitevint told the county that his great-grandfather, William Belk Lynn, opened a railroad station around 1890 when the Georgia Pine Railroad built the first six miles of track in that area.

The station would become known as Lynn Station, and the area as Lynn, Georgia. Poitevint explained that the railroad station was vital to the flexibility needed to construct the airbase, which ultimately led to the construction of the hangar.

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