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      Panel rejects appeal in airport terminal renovation contract

      Proposed atrium and dome design (provided)

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- An appeal that stalled renovations at the Charleston International Airport has been denied.

      Officials with the airport confirmed that a panel of the Charleston County Aviation Authority denied the Holder Construction Company's appeal that argued a $150 million renovation contract was wrongfully awarded to Austin Commercial LP and local firm Hitt Contracting Inc.

      Holder Construction claimed a former airport board member had ties to the Austin-Hitt team and that tainted the selection process.

      According to the Associated Press, an attorney for Holder says they haven't decided if another appeal will be made.

      Airport spokesman Becky Beaman says that work on the parking lot has already begun and that expansion of the surface lots is gong "very well."

      She says they hope to start work on the main revamp soon, but could not give a specific time. Once started, the project should take about two years to complete.

      Renovations planned include a centralized security checkpoint, six more gates and a completely remodeled atrium with a dome of about 37 feet in diameter overhead. A new lobby will also include some sort of statue, fountain, or gazebo that is open to the public.

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