AAR construction reaches new heights for local economy - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

AAR construction reaches new heights for local economy

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

It's the size of two BMO Harris Bank Centers sitting side-by-side.

The shell of what will be AAR's mammoth jet repair facility is taking shape as the funding feud continues to be a sore subject.

It's intricate and complex design towers above Rockford's airfield.

AAR's web-like architecture was spun by a local firm.

 "It's a significant project for our company," said Dan Roszowski, Larson & Darby Group.

The construction company building the jet repair facility is also local.  The crew of 50 will double before it's over.

"The team we've put together out here, we're extremely confident with the job they're doing," said Joe Scandroli, President of Scandroli Construction.

The only shaky ground the project is publicly on right now is with its financing.

"There's no stopping it," said Cheryle Jackson, Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Development.  "It's more than half pregnant. The baby is coming it's here."

AAR's partners are trying to deliver on their commitments, but it's the state and federal funding showdown that's dominating the conversation.

13 News heard from the Rauner Administration on Monday.  

"The grant agreement requires $10 million in funding for the AAR project specifically," said Lyndsey Walters, spokeswoman for the Governor's Office.  "Funds for work outside the scope of the project cannot qualify for a match. It appears that the $7.3M awarded through the Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration was awarded for work outside of the scope of the project.  However, to date, the airport has not submitted the $7.3 million as part of the grant agreement for the AAR project. If they believe the $7.3 million in federal funds applies to the AAR project then they should submit it to the state for review to see if it qualifies for the AAR project."

There is little doubt the $40 million project will eventually get funded, said Jeff Polsean, Economic Development Manager at the airport.  He said all sides see the benefit to the local workforce.

"They wanted to see something in writing that the federal funds are made available," said Polsean.  "So they're working through that with Sen. Durbin's office to make it go forward."

Polsean said $1.4 million of state funds have already come in leaving another $15 million necessary to complete the project.  The airport extended its line of credit in the meantime, as a temporary solution.

The jet repair facility is expected to be finished by early 2016.
 

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