NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After years of construction, Nashville International Airport finally debuted its brand new lobby Tuesday morning.

“It’s very nice, very bright and it looks really good,” said passenger John Burney.

Passenger Lindsley Brooks finally had the opportunity to see the lobby while heading to California.

“Oh my God, it’s just so beautiful,” she said. “I can’t even believe this is Nashville. Like, we’re so fancy all of a sudden.”

Brooks is a native of Nashville, and like many, she’s been waiting years to see the unveiling.

“The anticipation has been building, and so I think we’ve all been kind of wondering what’s behind the curtain,” she said. “The construction, even though it was a very big pain for all of us to go through, it’s really cool to see that it was all worth it.”

This 200-square-foot area is finally open to the public and is part of the airport’s $1.4 billion expansion plan.

“Back in 2017, we were growing fast already five years in a row, and we knew in order to keep up with Nashville’s growth we needed to get started,” said Doug Kreulen.

Kreulen is the CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority and says expanding the airport is all about keeping up with the city’s growth.

“As of December 31st, we did over 20 million passengers, so we tried to design this space to be able to handle 35 million passengers,” he said.

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But growth comes with a lot of change, something natives know can be a challenge.

“I think there’s some resistance, I’m not going to lie,” said Brooks. “It’s kind of like the old Nashville versus the new Nashville, but I do think with being a little more conscious about how we’re progressing and how we’re growing. As long as we have that in mind, I think it can be nothing but good for all of us.”

With a new hotel, parking garage, restaurants and international arrival facilities up next, all these changes are just a few of the next steps in growing the city’s largest travel hub.

“We have clients come in all the time because they love Nashville, and I think before the first thing they saw was not all that impressive and today it will be,” said passenger Jere Brassell.

Behind the lobby, the airport is currently working on renovating another 200,000 square feet of space that will house 15 new restaurants and a new international arrival facility.

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That area will open in late September, allowing the airport to expand from one to six international gates.