Airport’s upstairs terrazzo floor about a month away

HARLINGEN — Downstairs looks good, but what about upstairs?

Valley International Airport is repeating ripping up its downstairs floor and has moved up to the second-floor concourse to install matching white-blue-gray terrazzo flooring.

The project, at a cost of just over $1 million paid for by the Federal Aviation Administration and by using the passenger facility charge, should be completed within a month.

The terrazzo is manufactured by Ohio-based Key Resin Co., and installed by a local firm, Mion Terrazzo Tile and Marble Co. Mion installed the downstairs terrazzo, finishing about a year ago.

“It’s going to look unbelievable,” Marv Esterly, director of aviation at VIA, told the airport board Friday. “We get so many compliments already and it doesn’t look good to me yet.”

The terrazzo, no matter how attractive it eventually will be, isn’t just for looks. Airport officials say there will be savings on maintenance and it will add convenience for passengers.

“It’s so much easier to roll your bag as you’re going down the concourse,” Esterly said. “For older people and seniors, that means a whole lot.”

The flooring on the upstairs concourse for years has consisted of blue carpeting which, unsurprisingly, has been showing its age.

“This is the main walkway where a million passengers come and go every year, so we won’t have the wear-and-tear look on the carpet anymore,” Bryan Wren, assistant director of aviation, said in an interview following the board meeting.

“As far as maintenance, once you seal these things, we have a riding scrubber and in a couple of hours this whole thing can be re-shined every night,” he added. “It’s quick enough to do down and upstairs, just alternate days. You don’t have to do it every day but every other day. It all used to have to be vacuumed by hand.”

Wren said airport officials hope to have the concourse terrazzo installation fully complete in time for Spring Break.