By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
City Council considers airport hangars fate
new deh hanger demolition pic
Shown is the World War II-era hanger that will likely be razed. Engineers have advised that it is no structurally sound. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

City Council meets Monday night
The Great Bend City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the City Office, 1209 Williams. Other items on the agenda are Cemetery Board requests, the concealed carry exemption, and the algae at Veterans Memorial Lake.

It will be recommended to the Great Bend City Council Monday night that it authorize Mayor Mike Allison to sign an agreement with federal and state agencies, paving the way for the demolition of a World War II-era hangar at the Great Bend Municipal Airport.
The item will be on the agenda when the council meets at 7:30 p.m. at the City Office, 1209 Williams.
The memorandum of agreement would be between the Federal Aviation Administration, the Kansas State Historic Preservation Office and the City of Great Bend. City Attorney Bob Suelter has been working with these parties to allow for the razing of the damaged north hangar.
The structure is on the Kansas Register of Historic Places. It was part of the B-29 bomber training base that operated at the what is now the airport during World War II.
The agreement sets forth conditions the FAA and KSHPO require of the city. The city would agree to:
• Document the hangar so that a permanent record exists. This includes: A historical narrative along with a brief history of the building’s role in the war; and a description of the building materials, construction method, and interior and exterior photographs.
• Nominate the other war-era hangar (currently used as a hangar) and storage bunker for Norton bombs for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. This includes similar documentation as above.
Both shall be done within 12 months of the agreement’s signing.
Much of the hanger’s roof has been blown away, Suelter said. There is also other damage.
Blizzard Energy, the tire recycling company moving to the location, had considered using the building and had a structural engineer examine it. Suelter said they were told absent a massive renovation, it was not structurally sound.
Since the airport was acquired by the city from the federal government after it closed following the war, Suelter said FAA approval was required. And, since it was a historic site, a blessing from the KSHPO was needed.
What will be recommended will be that, in addition to the nomination of the two structures, a sign be placed near the terminal entrance explaining the air base.