The main architect to design Charleston International Airport's terminal expansion will come from Colorado.

Charleston County Aviation Authority voted 8-4 Thursday to select Fentress Architects of Denver as the architectural and engineering firm to design the proposed $150 million airport makeover.

The Colorado firm will use the local expertise of Watson Tate Savory Liollio Architecture and other local engineering companies to expand the two concourses, add a new baggage carousel and make other improvements to the nearly 30-year terminal building by late next year.

Those voting against the firm preferred a lead local company, but Authority Chairman Chip Limehouse said the committee met with all six finalists and decided Fentress was the best choice.

"This is not something we took lightly," he said.

Fentress Architects previous airport projects include work at Raleigh-Durham, San Diego, Sacramento and Denver.

The airport will now negotiate a contract with Fentress and hopes to award it in January, said Sue Stevens, director of airports for Charleston County.

Read more in Friday's editions of The Post and Courier.