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RDU's original terminal is being torn down

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The old part of Terminal 1 is being torn down.

If you fly out of Raleigh-Durham International, you will notice some construction. The north and south sections of Terminal 1 are being knocked down, including the original terminal building constructed in 1955.

Major demolition is expected to be completed by the end of summer.

The original terminal building has seen many changes throughout the years. It first housed barracks for the Army, then opened to the public as an airport terminal.

There have been many additions and renovations, but airport spokesman Andrew Sawyer says it no longer meets the demands of modern travelers.

"The long and short of it is that this building has been such a work for us," Sawyer said. "It's been reconfigured, remodeled, renovated, added on to, taken away from so many times over the years that it's just not at a point in the lifespan of the building that we can keep it going."

Sawyer says growth also factored in the decision to demolish the building. He says the airport is expected to grow 2 percent every year until 2040.

"We're gonna need more terminals, more parking, more infrastructure more roadways to handle that growth," he said, adding that the demolition shouldn't impact travelers.

It is all part of an 18-month airport renovation project called Vision2040.

While the airport is looking ahead, the building reflects the history of the airport, housing the original beacon from 1955.

"The beacon that's on top of the airport for the terminal here will be saved and used for future historical purposes," Sawyer said. "We haven't determined what that will be yet."

It's also unclear what will be constructed in place of the building.

Residents will have a chance to weigh in on future plans for that site during community meetings in two weeks.

Airport Public Workshops will be held, June 1 from 6-8 p.m. at the Wake County Commons Building at 4011 Carya Drive in Raleigh and on June 2 from 6-8 p.m. at Durham Armory at 220 Foster Street in Durham.

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