community IS

With an expanded concourse, a new control tower, more parking, enhanced rental car capabilities and improved baggage inspection technology, Elevate is taking travel—and West Michigan—to new heights.

Community Business Supporters
Legislators and Sources of Funding

Senator Peters

Secured more than $1.2 million in federal funding in FY22 to implement safety upgrades and expand Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The Congressionally Directed Spending funds will help to support the expansion and widening of Concourse A, which includes safety upgrades, such as an updated fire alarm and public address system. Thanks to Senator Peters’ work, the FY23 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) budget includes funding for the design of a new Air Traffic Control Tower.

Senator Stabenow

Thanks to Senator Stabenow’s work, the FY23 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) budget includes funding for the design of a new Air Traffic Control Tower at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Representative Scholten

Utilizing the Community Project Funding program, Congresswoman Scholten supports ELEVATE and landside capacity improvements associated with the Terminal Enhancement – Phase 1 project.

Learn more here.

Representative Moolenaar

Representative Moolenaar continues to advocate for and support federal investment in a new Air Traffic Control Tower at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport will receive $8,687,870 from U.S. DOT’s Airport Terminal Grant Program, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL, to support the addition of eight new passenger boarding bridges on its Concourse A expansion and widening project.

Former Representative Meijer

Supported H.R. 2471, the Fiscal Year 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act that will help to fund the Concourse A Expansion and Widening project. Representative Meijer continues to advocate for and support federal investment in a new Air Traffic Control Tower at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.


George Eberhardt III – Terrazzo Artist

George Eberhardt III, inspired by aspects of Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” referenced Lake Michigan and its water elements in his design that measures a diameter of 15 feet.

With a background in program development and curriculum design, Eberhardt focuses on enriching the lives of youth and diverse communities as an artist, muralist and art teacher.

A previous ArtPrize winner, Eberhardt’s mural work can be seen across West Michigan with pieces at Slows BBQ in downtown Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Public Schools, West Grand Neighborhood Organization, Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, among many others.

Instagram: @the_third_ge

George Eberhardt III - Terrazzo Artist

George Eberhardt III’s terrazzo design

Kim Nguyen – Terrazzo Artist

As the selected artist for the City category, Kim Nguyen referenced the cities and towns of Grand Rapids and surrounding West Michigan areas, while also including representations of Grand Rapids’ agricultural, medical and manufacturing industries in her terrazzo floor design. Her installation will pay homage to our community’s former moniker “Furniture City,” while winding the Grand River and Grand Rapids’ proximity to the shores of Lake Michigan.

As a designer and illustrator, Nguyen’s previous clients include Sweetwaters Café, Universal Music Group and Adult Swim. Nguyen was also selected as one of the 27 local artists to paint portraits of influential women on mechanical boxes located throughout downtown Grand Rapids, as part of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.’s “Rad Women” public art project.


Instagram: @thaikim

Kim Nguyen - Terrazzo Artist

Kim Nguyen’s terrazzo design

I am overjoyed and feel incredibly honored to be one of the artists helping new residents and future travelers see the beauty of our home through artwork beneath their feet. I have always felt a fondness for airports because they bring me the thrill of travel, and in the case of Ford International Airport, the relieving feeling of being almost home.

I have a photograph where I am two years old and meeting my three older brothers at Ford International Airport, it is there that I met them and my grandparents for the very first time. Though I was born in Grand Rapids, my family are refugees and immigrants from Vietnam, and I can’t imagine what they felt when they landed here in West Michigan.

Kim Nguyen

Maureen Nollette – Terrazzo Artist

Maureen Nollette, inspired by a photograph she took of a Sand Cherry shrub on a roadside beach in Michigan, created designs to showcase the vastness of the Lake Michigan Dunes and the region’s native flora.

She is currently a visiting assistant professor at Grand Valley State University in the department of visual & media arts. Nollette was a resident artist for the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Ngo Le Korsa Project in Sinthian, Africa, as well as a resident artist for the Marble House Project in Dorset, Vermont.

Her collections can be found at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, J. Jill Group, MGM Mirage Hotel and Yves St. Laurent.


Instagram: @maureen.nollette

Maureen Nollette - Terrazzo Artist

Maureen Nollette’s terrazzo designs

Michael Pfleghaar – Terrazzo Artist

Michael Pfleghaar recently completed a collection of plein air paintings which was translated into his terrazzo designs to replicate West Michigan’s natural forestry and agriculture.

Pfleghaar has permanent collections at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Steelcase, Inc., Herman Miller, the State of Michigan and Grand Valley State University. Apple, HBO, CBS, ForeSee, Hayworth and Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts are a few of the organizations that have utilized Pfleghaar’s artwork as illustrations.


Instagram: @pfleghaar

Michael Pfleghaar - Terrazzo Artist

Michael Pfleghaar’s terrazzo designs

Jeffrey Augustine Songco – Aerial Artist

Songco’s artwork—titled Facets—consists of three large-scale, site-specific suspended sculptures, composed of hundreds of strands of colorful, multi-sided shapes.

Having won the prestigious ArtPrize© Nine Installation Category Juried Award, Songco’s artwork has graced renowned venues across the United States, including Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, SPRING/BREAK Art Show in New York City, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. He is featured in the publication Queering Contemporary Asian American Art and as a writer, his pieces have appeared in Art21 Blog, Bad at Sports, HuffPost and Hyperallergic.


Instagram: @songcoarts

Jeffrey Augustine Songco - Aerial Artist

Jeffrey Augustine Songco’s aerial art designs

AK Bueno – Mural Artist

A visual artist and educator, Bueno focuses on creating abstracted architectural spaces and deconstructed landscapes in her pieces. Bueno received her bachelor’s degree in illustration from Grand Valley State University and her master’s degree in teaching from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Her mural, “Welcome to West Michigan,” focuses on abstractedly depicting key architectural elements from the region.


Instagram: @ayekaybueno

AK Bueno’s mural art design

It is such a privilege to share my work with those traveling through Gerald R. Ford International Airport. It is my hope the imagery in my mural invites travelers to experience calm, joy, excitement, curiosity, familiarity and a true sense of hospitality as they go forth.

AK Bueno

Maddison Chaffer – Mural Artist

Chaffer, a public artist and conservationist, apprenticed for two years under national and international muralists. Chaffer now installs murals professionally for public art festivals, small businesses, corporations and local governments.

Their mural, “Manitou Passage,” is intended to share in the appreciation for the landscape’s history and inspire travelers to help preserve Michigan’s native ecosystems.


Instagram: @son.visual

Maddison Chaffer’s mural art design

Jimmy Cobb – Mural Artist

Cobb is a Great Lakes artist whose work can be found along the shores of Lake Michigan, such as Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Norton Shores and Milwaukee. His piece, “Hauling in the Sail,” was inspired by Zoltan Sepeshy, a Hungarian painter wh resided and taught in Michigan, and is intended to bring the vision and energy of the great coastlines to life.


Instagram: @jm.cobb

Jimmy Cobb’s mural art design

Devin Dumond – Mural Artist

Dumond is a multi-disciplinary artist and entrepreneur who specializes in branding for small businesses and illustrations. Dumond teaches graphic design and illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design.

Their mural, “Twilight on the Rapids,” is inspired by their hometown of Grand Rapids and the variety of architecture found within the city. The piece features the structure of the city juxtaposed by the organic shapes of the Grand River and lush green landscape.

Devin Dumond’s mural art design

Jill Eggers – Mural Artist

Eggers is an associate professor at Grand Valley State University, where she has led the painting program since 2000.  She has a bachelor’s degree in painting and art education from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in painting and printmaking from Yale University. Eggers also studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Eggers’ mural, “Returning to Earth,” is based on the dense and lyrical woods of Michigan and focuses on connecting travelers to the beauty and peace of the forest.


Jill Eggers’ mural art design

Economic Impact

Construction impact


gate counters


column enclosures


square feet of metal panels


total metal panels

Over 34 Business Partners
90% locally based business partners
  • Over 13,000 punched holes in a stainless steel column enclosure base
  • Over 132 miles of low voltage and copper wiring
  • Over 1,200 light fixtures added
  • Over 4,300 structural steel pieces
5,120 yards of concrete. Enough to build 16 miles of sidewalk.
26,105 Cubic Yards of Soil Handled. Enough to fill 176 dump trucks.

tons of steel decking


lbs of aggregate used within the terrazzo flooring


total number of ceramic tiles


speakers added


tons of concrete reinforcing steel


pieces of custom carpet tiles


total doors


panes of glass

Long-term impact

$5,200,000,000 Total Economic Impact. $407,600,000 Project Elevate Investment.

*Estimated total Elevate capital expansion improvements.

271 Construction Jobs Created Annually.

Considered one the top 12 transformational projects that could reshape West Michigan’s ability to attract visitors, new residents, and employers.

40k jobs. Enough to employ everyone living in Cascade Township twice. $418 million in spend from visitors outside the region, anticipated.