When Walker Partners took over as the Consulting Engineer for Waco Regional Airport in the summer of 2012, there were three disgruntled rental car companies stationed at Waco Regional – Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz. These rental car franchises were upset because they had been working with the former Consulting Engineer at the Airport since 2009 without making any progress towards a car wash facility. In order to wash, vacuum, and refuel the automobiles, employees were forced to drive off premises, which was time consuming, costly, and inconvenient. The City of Waco had made the commitment to construct the new facility, and the tenants were ready for action.
The estimated cost for this car wash facility was $900,000, as presented by the former Consulting firm, which was $150,000 over the Airport’s budget of $750,000. To make matters worse, the proposed construction methodology for this new facility was residential; that is, conventional wooden-stud framing with a masonry veneer topped with a 6:12 (Rise:Run) pitched roof.
Two of Walker Partners’ “pillars” are building lasting relationships and providing steadfast service – both of which are hard to accomplish and provide with pre-dispositioned, angry stakeholders. Without hesitation, Walker Partners scheduled a meeting with the three rental car companies. At this meeting, we listened to their complaints and heard their concerns. We asked each of them to define “success”
for this Project, and we took the time necessary to understand their desires for the new facility.
After two subsequent meetings and a field trip to another airport to tour a car wash facility that the franchises found desirable, Walker Partners defined the building program that would satisfy their needs. The real challenge followed – to deliver a Project within Waco’s budget that also met the expectations of the rental car companies.
Walker Partners was very dissatisfied with the idea of constructing a residential structure for a car wash at Waco’s Airfield. So, we retained the architect that designed the current Airport Terminal building – a bold, modern, professional structure that serves the region well. Our Engineering Team spent many hours consulting with and guiding the architect to design a modern, professional facility utilizing the exact same high-quality materials as the Terminal building, within the City’s $750,000 budget.
Bids were opened on July 26, 2015, and the contract was awarded for $733,700! Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise were elated, and the Airport was ecstatic because the bids came in below budget. The facility was constructed on-time, under budget, and with only one change order to reduce the contract amount to $729,000!
Walker Partners’ true value to the Waco Regional Airport was not to settle for an inexpensive, residential, high-maintenance eye sore, but rather to work tirelessly to develop a project for which all Wacoans are gratified. Walker Partners is a proud part of this community and we give 110% to ensure that the City and the Airport get the greatest return on investment for every project.
completion date: 2016
location: waco, tx