JOPLIN, MO.--- Walking through the Joplin Regional Airports old main terminal, is like taking a step back in time. The nostalgia that should come with a building that dates back to the 1960's is lost behind all the damage.
"Heating and air conditioning units were really old, most of them didn't work, the roof leaked, there was a lot of electrical and lighting issues on the inside," states Steve Stockam, Joplin Regional Airport Manager.
Now, after years of working with city leaders to find funding for these extensive repairs, the airport has finally moved forward with plans to update the space.
"We are trying to market the building and have the space available to businesses or entities to be able to lease it, but because of the condition of the building, it just wasn't conducive to being able to lease the space," states Stockam.
Using the space to generate revenue is something Stockam feels is part of his duty to make sure taxpayer dollars are being used effectively.
"When you have a facility that's sitting around and its not making you any money or that you aren't doing anything with, it's a requirement that you do something or try to do something with that facility that eases the burden on your budget," states Stockam.
Once the renovations are complete, city leaders hope to rent the roughly 11,000 square foot space, generating thousands of dollars per month for the airport.
"Well the airport has been wanting this for a little bit of time now and for them to finally have it in the budget to get it done, I think this is a big boost for not only the Joplin area but definitely the Airport, that can just add to their whole portfolio that can add to what they can offer, which in turn offers Joplin a good thing," states Melodee Colbert Kean, Mayor of Joplin.