Baggage claim at Mitchell Intl. Airport to get massive overhaul

MILWAUKEE (WITI) – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele was joined by County Supervisors Michael Mayo, Sr., Mark Borkowski and Steve F. Taylor Thursday, September 19th to launch General Mitchell International Airport’s $45 million Baggage Claim Renovation Project.  At the end of the news conference, they kicked-off the demolition by ripping out part of the building’s ceiling.

The interior and exterior of the facility will be fully rebuilt, including the addition of a new glass canopy extending over the vehicle roadway.

The new building will be LEED certified due to its energy efficient design.

A new, green roof will be visible from the parking garage skywalks, and a new skylight will span the entire length of the building.

“The baggage claim is the first place visitors see of the airport and what they're going to see is going to be impressive and something we'll all be proud of. The new baggage claim will create a more inviting, spacious environment for travelers as they arrive in Milwaukee. This improved customer experience will ensure we remain the best choice for travelers throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois," County Executive Chris Abele said.

The original building dates back to the 1950s and was last remodeled in the mid-1980s.  The $45 million project is expected to be complete by late summer 2015.

“Mitchell Airport remains a strong economic engine in our region, and I am pleased to lend my full support to the Baggage Claim rebuild,” said Supervisor Mayo, Chairman of the County Board’s Transportation, Public Works & Transit Committee.  “This project is clearly a win-win-win for Milwaukee County, for travelers who use Mitchell Airport, and for our airport partners.”

The area will be partially open during construction.

"There will be some constraints to passenger flows and roadways because the roadway gets completely redone too," Airport Director Barry Bateman said.

General Mitchell International Airport is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation, Airport Division, under the policy direction of the Milwaukee County Executive and the County Board of Supervisors. The airport is entirely funded by user fees; no property tax dollars are used for the airport’s capital improvements or for its day-to-day operation.