Just hours before her final City Commission meeting, city officials officially named the not-quite-finished administrative center at the DeLand Municipal Airport in honor of retiring Commissioner and Vice Mayor Leigh Matusick.
The $3.1 million Leigh Matusick Airport Management Center is expected to be completed early next year and soon thereafter become a hub for airport operations, said Mayor Bob Apgar.
“This airport has served the general public for many years, but never really was a presence. This changes that. It’s been long-needed,” Apgar said at a well-attended ceremony Nov. 19. “I can’t think of anyone better to name it for than Leigh Matusick. She has made many contributions as a public servant and been a good representative of the city.”
Matusick said she was honored.
“Everyone has been so supportive, including my family and my husband,” she said, referring to Bob Matusick. “Thank you to everybody for all your support.”
Leigh Matusick was elected to Seat 5 of the City Commission in November 2005. She was selected vice mayor in 2010. She has been the city’s representative on numerous city, county and state planning boards and advisory committees over the years, as well as many other community and nongovernmental activities.
At her final commission meeting later that evening, her fellow commissioners unanimously approved a resolution officially naming the administrative center in Matusick’s honor.
The 6,000-square-foot building is located at 1000 Flightline Blvd. and is accessible from the street or the flight line.
The airport’s management staff will be stationed at the new facility, and the building also will serve airport tenants and visitors in need of staff assistance, meeting rooms, restrooms and workspace.
A new aviation ramp is scheduled to be constructed in early 2019 to allow visitors arriving by air to taxi to and park at the north building entrance.
Public Services Director Keith Riger said the city has had plans for an administrative center since 1990, but those plans kept getting pushed back.
That changed when John Eiff became DeLand Municipal Airport’s manager a couple of years ago, Riger said. Eiff not only became an advocate for the management center, he found funding — mostly from the state — and provided input on the design.
Eiff, who came into his job after many years of serving on the Airport Advisory Committee as a business owner, knew it was an important step to take.
“We’ve needed this facility for a long time,” Eiff said. “We’re very grateful for the Florida Department of Transportation and the City of DeLand for the funding to allow us to build it. This will help us in continuing to develop and serve the airport.”
Riger also praised the architect of the building, Passero Associates, and the general contractor, D.J. Haycook Construction Co.