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PHOENIX-For the next 11 months, tenants in Sky Harbor International Airport’s West Air Cargo Facility will be operating in the middle of a construction zone.

Hardison/downey construction inc. has begun working on the city-owned facility, comprised of three buildings with 186,000 sf. The buildings, which handle cargo for the United States Postal Service, America West Airlines and Southwest Airlines, will remain open during the $7.5 million makeover, says Jim Kurtzman, vice president of client development for hardison/downey.

Kurtzman tells GlobeSt.com that the design/build project includes a partial demolition of about 20,500 sf in two buildings to make room for a new taxiway. Other improvements include a new roof, electrical and telecommunications systems and a fire sprinkler system.

“These are antiquated facilities that are just not up to code,” Kurtzman says. The 1970s-era buildings are made of concrete, which means it is more cost-effective to rehab the buildings than build new ones. “They’re good concrete structures,” he says, “and no one would build buildings like this anymore…It’s just too costly.”

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