PITTSTON TOWNSHIP -- It's the beginning of the end for the old terminal at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
Officials hammered through a picture of the old terminal Thursday morning to symbolize the start of demolition.
The Hale family moved out of Luzerne County nearly 40 years ago but with every visit, they knew they could count on two friendly faces greeting them at the gate in the old terminal of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
"As we were landing this morning from Orlando, I had this memory flash through my mind of my grandparents standing and waving and waiting for us at the gate every time we came back to visit every year," recalled Chris Shields of Orlando, Florida.
In years past, it was a bustling terminal with travelers, but now it is being demolished, starting from the inside.
"Moved away from this beautiful area 38 years ago, come back every year through this airport, love it," said Fran Hale of Orlando.
"Those are happy memories, coming back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is coming back home for us," added Shields.
The old terminal hasn't been open to travelers in 10 years but its control tower was in use until 2013. That's when a new tower was built clearing the way for the old terminal to eventually be torn down.
"One of my favorite memories as a kid was going and seeing the airplanes take off from the observation deck. Way back when, maybe I was 10, decades ago, which was cool because today we can't even go to the gate," recalled Maureen Hale Maensivu of Orlando.
The $2.2 million project is funded in part by state grants and the airport's revenue. The price includes the demolition and then paving the area to be a parking lot.
"The project for demolition is scheduled to be 90 days, so we anticipate for the next three months, we'll be working on the demolition itself," said airport director of engineering Steve Mykulyn.
Once the demolition is finished it's expected to take another two months to build the parking lot.
The whole project should be finished sometime this fall.