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U.S. Geological Survey Renovation Celebration

As prepared for delivery:

Remarks by
David L. Bibb
Acting Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
U.S. Geological Survey Renovation Celebration
Reston, Virginia
December 2, 2005

Thank you, Donald (Williams), for that kind introduction.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I’m honored to be here today on behalf of the U.S. General Services Administration with U.S. Geological Survey Acting Director (Dr. P. Patrick) Leahy, Congressman (Jim) Moran, and everyone else involved in this very important event.

To call this a renovation project doesn’t quite do justice to all that went into creating the state-of-the-art workplace that has emerged after five years of sustained effort.

You may know the Geological Survey was created by an act of Congress in 1879. That doesn’t mean the labs at the Powell Federal Building were 126 years old when work began. Not quite... I think we’d all agree though, that considerable upgrades were needed to help the agency best perform its mission of supplying critical scientific information to the nation.

GSA is proud of the partnership we enjoyed with our friends at the Geological Survey during this project.  I think the results are impressive: a $40 million transformation of 100,000 square feet that created 120 modern labs. These labs will enable scientists, technicians and others to produce information that will help our nation:

  • Describe and understand the Earth;
  • Minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters;
  • Manage water, biological, energy and mineral resources;
  • And enhance and protect America’s quality of life.

We are also very proud that this project contributes significantly to the on-going effort to diversify Reston’s economic base. Locating the labs at the Powell Federal Building provides a substantial number of jobs and helps Reston continue as one of the most innovative and successful new towns in the nation. 

We could not have reached this point without the work of many individuals, organizations and partners from the private sector. I’d like to quickly acknowledge:

  • Congressman Moran for his long and steadfast support of the project;
  • The general contractor, Grunley Construction Company, and company president Ken Grunley ;
  • The construction manager, Bovis Lend Lease;
  • And the architect, Burt Hill Kosar Rittelman.

I would also like to thank the Geological Survey project team, led by Paul Gargano, and the GSA project team, led by Toby Gottesman.

I think it’s noteworthy that this project not only came in under budget and seven months ahead of schedule, but that a unique construction plan was developed that allowed agency operations to continue uninterrupted. That is, virtually all of the renovation work took place at night, in eight phases over five years.

Anyone who’s had a kitchen or family room remodeled at home knows that what I just described qualifies as a small miracle.

In closing, let me again congratulate everyone who helped us reach the finish line on this project. Completing the new lab facilities in such magnificent fashion could not have been achieved without the dedication, creativity and spirit of cooperation that is so evident all around us.

Last, let me thank those who will be working here day in and day out on behalf of the American people. In providing the rich source of data that helps us better understand our world, you are carrying on a tradition of public service that began more than a century ago.

Thank you all, and best wishes as you go forward from this point.


Speeches, GSA Administrator, Administrator Speech