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25 FIGURE 20 New Bedford Regional Airport. ruptcy, it decided to end the program and, with virtually no The New Bedford Redevelopment Authority subse- warning, closed the facility. The original lease had almost 1 quently leased the facility to Delta Air Lines. However, year remaining. When Delta abandoned the facility, it simul- the authority was eager to close the deal, and several issues taneously stopped paying the utility bills, and the building about responsibility for building and outside maintenance went without heat for an extended period. Luckily, this was were not specified in the lease. The lack of clarity on main- discovered just before a severe cold front, and the building tenance responsibilities persisted through the duration of the was saved from extensive damage. lease. In the end, the airport was left with many unantici- pated maintenance responsibilities for the facility. Following Delta's closure of the facility, the mayor of New Bedford, the president of Bridgewater State University, Before Bridgewater State University became a tenant, and the airport worked together to redefine the university's ownership of the facility transferred from the Redevelop- aviation program. The building was upgraded into a first- ment Authority to EWB (see Figure 20). When the airport rate flight school that met the university's standards and received the property, it was in fair condition. There was requirements. This included bringing the building into com- common wear and tear as well as some neglect of the build- pliance with ADA regulations. Many volunteers worked to ing's mechanical systems during Delta's occupancy. The remodel the facility. heating system had had no preventive maintenance during that time. Although none of the systems required replace- In June 2008, Bridgewater State University signed a ment, there was a lot of tuning and tweaking. This included 5-year lease and took control of the facility. The Aviation repairs to heating, air conditioning, fire detection, fire sup- Training Center received FAA certification in December pression, and plumbing systems. 2008 and opened for students in January 2009. TENANT RECRUITMENT OWNERSHIP AND COMPLIANCE ISSUES It was fortuitous that the airport had in close proximity a The ownership and control of the facility have a blurry his- long-term, aeronautical prospect. Initial recruitment of tory. Initially, the Plumbers Union built and owned the facil- Bridgewater State University started with a series of infor- ity and held a ground lease from the city. After the union left mal meetings between the New Bedford Regional Airport the facility in the late 1990s, the building remained vacant Commission, New Bedford's mayor, and the university. for 5 years. Besides the question of ownership, the building's The mayor and the president of the university built a strong nonaviation use was not an authorized use of airport prop- understanding of the importance of the project and its poten- erty. During conversion of the building to a flight-training tial contribution to the community. center, EWB needed FAA approval to re-establish access to the airfield and to apply for AIP funds. To establish a fair-market value for the property, the city of New Bedford turned to the Massachusetts Department of Cap- To expedite the conversion, secure AIP funds, and bring ital Asset Management (DCAM). The DCAM Office of Real the facility into FAA compliance, the city compensated the Estate offers an appraisal valuation service to client agencies, Plumbers Union for the building and ownership was trans- municipalities, and private sector buyers involved in the acqui- ferred to the New Bedford Redevelopment Authority in 2003. sition, transfer, sale, or lease of surplus state-owned property.