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Deputy Administrator Bibb Helps Open State-of-the-Art Facility for FDA

As prepared for delivery

Remarks by
David Bibb
Deputy Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
FDA Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Silver Spring, MD
October 12, 2006

 

Thank you very much, Ann (Everett), and thank you Tracy O’neill for that moving rendition of our National Anthem.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am very honored to represent GSA Administrator Lurita Doan and to join:

Senator Sarbanes;

Congressmen Hoyer and Wynn;

Acting FDA Commissioner Von Eschenbach;

Judge Ruben, State Senator Ruben;

and all the other distinguished guests here today to help celebrate the passing of another important milestone in the master plan to modernize and consolidate the operations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This “central shared use” facility is the hub of a campus that will eventually be comprised of 14 interconnected buildings. Its immediate purpose will be to provide much-needed library research space and related administrative support space to the growing FDA population.

You know, ribbon-cuttings and grand opening ceremonies like this provide a chance to reflect upon all it took to reach this point. Let me take you back a little further than the start of this project, because we’re also here to celebrate a birthday.

1906 was the year of the San Francisco earthquake, the year the air conditioner was patented, and the year the White Sox beat the Cubs in the World Series. The most popular car in 1906 was the Ford Model N, and you could get one for 500 dollars. 1906 was also the year President Teddy Roosevelt signed the Food and Drugs Act, handing responsibility for protecting and promoting public health to the Bureau of Chemistry and the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Eventually the Bureau of Chemistry became the Food and Drug Administration, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. So it is now 100 years – 100 years! -- that FDA has consistently and diligently protected and advanced public health in America and throughout the world.

I think we can agree they deserve a hearty “happy birthday,” as well as a state-of-the-art campus.

GSA is proud to have been part of this effort, but of course it took the hard work of many to help us reach this day. Let me take a few moments to acknowledge:

- Senators Sarbanes and Mikulski, Congressmen Hoyer and Wynn, and all the other members of Congress who have fought for the necessary funding;
- the entire HHS / FSA White Oak consolidation team, led by Dave Dwyer;
- the design architects and engineers for the project – the Kling / RTKL partnership;
- the builder, Centex construction company of Fairfax, Virginia.;
- the construction manager, Heery Tishman of Landover, Maryland;
- and of course the entire GSA / National Capital Region team, led by Shapour Ebadi and Bill Potterton.

I would also like to point out that this building is one of many projects in the GSA inventory that will earn leadership in energy and environmental design-nc certification. the FDA facility, which boasts 20 percent energy savings and 30 percent water use reduction, will receive a silver certification … GSA is proud to have partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services to have achieved this goal. 

We are also proud to play a role in the economic development of suburban Maryland. All of you are standing today on one of three campuses that GSA has been working on with FDA in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

In closing, I would also like to thank all those who will be working here day in and day out to further enhance the safety of the American public. Tremendous benefits will result from their work here for many, many years to come.  All of us at GSA look to the future with confidence and optimism and great anticipation of FDA’s continued success.      

Thank you very much.

 


FDA