HAGERSTOWN, MD. -- Washington County Commission and Fairchild Industries have cemented a land deal that will mean 26-acres for a new county airport terminal, county officials say.

The tract, known as the Shindle Farm, has been targeted for a proposed terminal that county officials hope will mark a new era of development at the growing Washington County Regional Airport.

Airport manager Leigh Sprowls said construction of the airport terminal could begin as early as this fall, although spring is more likely. "It all depends on how long it takes to design it," Sprowls said.

Commission President Ronald Bowers signed the agreement last week that gave the county the deed to the property.

Walter "Bud" Hersh, director of finance for the Fairchild bonding plant in Hagerstown, accepted the check and assured county officials that the neighboring bonding plant will be around for years to come.

The ceremony wrapped up months of negotiations between the county and Fairchild for the parcel, which is just south of the airport's main runway.

The property was valued at about $414,000 -- or $16,000-an-acre -- and the county paid $163,000 up front. The county plans to give Fairchild several other services and considerations for the property, including the cancellation of a multiyear airport user agreement.

The county also plans to give Fairchild up to $175,000 in cash and services to build a storage building at the nearby bonding plan