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Groundbreaking for Food and Drug Administration White Oak, Md.

Remarks by
Stephen A. Perry
Administrator
U.s. General Services Administration

Groundbreaking for Food and Drug Administration
White Oak, MD
Nov. 15, 2002


Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

It certainly is a pleasure for me to be here today for this important groundbreaking celebration with FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Commissioner McClennan, Deputy Commissioner Crawford and all the FDA family. And it is a very special honor for me to join in this celebration with Congressman Steny Hoyer, who has been a very strong champion of this FDA modernization and consolidation project in the United States Congress. I'm also honored also to share this dais with State Senator Ida Ruben, Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, a man we all appreciate for his team's outstanding work in the October sniper investigation and arrest.

We're all here today to celebrate the beginning of the construction of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office Building. This groundbreaking marks another major milestone in FDA's master plan to modernize and consolidate its operations as necessary to provide this scientific research agency with the very high quality work environment, technology, and equipment the people of FDA need to effectively and efficiently achieve their mission of service to the American people.

You know, one of the purposes of groundbreaking ceremonies like this is to give ourselves an opportunity to reflect for a just a moment on the success of the past - and then commit ourselves to build upon that success as we move into the future. As we reflect on the past, we certainly recognize that we owe a big debt of gratitude to those of you who worked so hard over the past decade or so to bring this project from the concept stage to where we are today. That debt of gratitude is certainly owed to the people of FDA; and, as I mentioned earlier, it definitely applies also to Congressman Steny Hoyer who is here with us today. FDA and Congress had the vision, dedication and persistence necessary to make this happen. We also owe a big debt of gratitude to the people of this community. The Labquest Group and others have been tremendously supportive, and we would not have achieved such a great master plan for the use of this site and the advancement of the surrounding community without their help and active participation.

Of course, we at GSA are very proud that our agency was able to contribute also to this very important FDA modernization and consolidation project. As you may know GSA's mission is to help other federal agencies achieve their missions of service to the public by helping them to acquire superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, equipment, vehicles, supplies, services and everything they need for the successful operation of their agencies. We are very proud our involvement to-date and we look forward to continuing to work with all of you to ensure that the vision becomes a reality.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate some of the people at GSA and on the project team who are supporting FDA in this work:
That begins with Donald Williams, our emcee today and GSA's Regional Administrator for the National Capital Region (NCR)
Ann Everett, GSA's Deputy Regional Administrator for NCR
Tony Costa, GSA's Assistant Regional Administrator for NCR.
Harry Debes, Project Manager
The Project Design Director William Potterton
Construction Director Shapour Ebadj
GSA's Property Development Division Director Doug Nelson
Our Metropolitan Service Center Director John Allen, and
all of us at GSA want to recognize FDA Project Director Ernest Lunsford, Jr.

I also want to congratulate the project's design architects and engineers, the Kling-Lundquist/RTKL Partnership of Washington, D.C., for their work on the master plan and for their architectural creativity and workspace layout, which is highly functional and reflects well the stature of FDA as a prominent scientific institution. I also want to thank our construction management company, the Heery-Tishman joint venture, for their leadership in coordinating this project. Again, special thanks to all of you for your expertise and your hard work to get us to this point of this project.

As we look to the future, we know there is much work to be done. Building on the foundation of success of the past, we look to the future with confidence and optimism and great anticipation of continued success. All of us at GSA look forward to achieving that success with you ¿ and celebrating it when we get together for the grand opening of this building one day soon.

Thank you very much.