New Prescott Airport Terminal Opens

More than 70 invited guests celebrated the ribbon-cutting at the $15 million Prescott Regional Airport Terminal (PRC) March 31.

Kristi Miller, airport management analyst, introduced city and community leaders who helped bring the new terminal to the community. Leading off was Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli. He reviewed the importance of the airport in Prescott history.

Mengarelli said PRC boasts commercial air service, with daily nonstop flight service to Denver and to Los Angeles provided by Sky West Airlines, operating as United Express.

He also noted Boutique Air offers twice-daily nonstop flights to and from Phoenix; passenger frequency is increasing regularly on all flights.

Several other speakers, including representatives from United Express and Boutique Air, told those present they believed PRC will soon see even more flights and destinations added to future schedules.

The 18,000-square-foot modern building replaces the disintegrating Earnest A. Love Terminal, which was built 73 years ago —1948.

Airport Director Robin Sobotta described PRC as having the latest in sophisticated technology — updated security processing, automated baggage handling, better passenger queuing for loading and unloading, and facilities throughout the terminal for plug-ins and charging devices for passengers who have electronic gear.

She said Prescott has received more than $26 million in federal and state grants over the past several years to help with construction. She said she expects grants to triple that amount in the next few years.

“We’re considered an ‘essential air service,’ so we anticipate continued growth and expansion,” she said.

A formal dedication of the expanded airport complex will be announced in June.

More details are available at

Kirchgraber to lead PUSD Education Foundation

Paul Kirchgraber is the new executive director for Prescott Unified School District Education Foundation.

He accepted the position following the retirement of former Executive Director Tami Phillips, who had served the organization until her retirement after the first of the year.

Kirchgraber previously headed the Yavapai College Foundation for almost 10 years.

Since its founding, the education foundation has raised approximately $1 million. Those funds are used to support teacher grants, technology, curricular improvements, and teacher and student recognition programs.

Joe Howard, PUSD superintendent, praised Kirchgraber for his national and international experience and credentials. So did Jenna James, foundation president. They said, “Paul brings us fundraising expertise and knowledge of the local philanthropic landscape.”

Decades of fundraising experience

Kirchgraber has been involved in fundraising since his 1976 graduation from State University of New York-Brockport in his home state. He worked with an American health care project in Saudi Arabia until 1984, then relocated to Los Angles and was recruited by Peter Ueberroth to help identify and train staff to work at 27 different sites for the 1984 Summer Olympics.

In 1985, Kirchgraber and his wife Melinda became involved in international efforts — the Peace Corps in Somalia on the border of Ethiopia and then several nongovernmental organizations: Médecins Sans Frontieres, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Red Crescent Society (equivalent of the Red Cross) and several other groups.

Upon returning to the United States, Kirchgraber accepted a teaching position in social work at California State Long Beach and later the University of Southern California. He was recruited to be part of a billion-dollar fundraising campaign. His success in California attracted the attention of Arizona State University Foundation, where he was vice president of advancement.

He also was involved in programs for Arizona Special Olympics and the American Red Cross. Those projects gave him opportunities to travel to the Quad Cities. In 2010, he learned of the foundation opening at YC in Prescott.

Kirchgraber said his new position will give him opportunities to build nurturing relationships in the community, especially in surviving the pandemic. “I have all confidence we’ll be successful.”

More information about the PUSD Education Foundation is available at