St. Pete-Clearwater Airport Sports Public Art, Beer, WiFi And More

Public art, WiFi and a Sam Adams bar. Sound like a fun place to hang? Officials with the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport hope travelers think so.

Airport renovations, largely funded by federal stimulus money, are completed, and according to an airport spokesperson, simply have to be seen to be fully appreciated.

"Our terminal renovation completely transformed our interior," says Michele Routh, the airport's community relations director. "We added two passenger-loading bridges and replaced infrastructure that was up to 50 years old: HVAC, electrical, plumbing, doors and elevators. In the process, the airport's becoming much more energy efficient. We also have free WiFi throughout and a Sam Adams Bar with very comfortable hold rooms."

The structural renovations inspired aesthetic ones, too. The new terminal sports a tropical theme featuring a 45-foot-by-five-foot blown glass wall crafted and painted by artist Guy Kemper. Kemper says he hopes his work helps to make the screening process more pleasant and less stressful. The work, designed by Kemper in his Kentucky studio and crafted in Germany, is entitled SunSkySea. The wall separates the landside terminal from the security area. A terrazzo floor medallion depicts sun and fish from the perspective of a scuba mask.

Roush says the total project costs came in at a little over $20 million, 98 percent of which came from grants and passenger facility charges. "We are a debt-free and self-supporting, " she says.

All flights from the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport are nonstop and competitively priced, with destinations throughout the Midwest, Canada, the Keys, and the Bahamas. Gamers have their choice of two airlines that fly directly to Biloxi, MS.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Michele Routh, St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport

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