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Administrator Doan Helps Dedicate New Census Headquarters

As prepared for delivery

Remarks by
Lurita A. Doan
Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
U.S. Census Bureau HQ Dedication Ceremony
Suitland, MD
October 26, 2006


Thank you so much, Ann Everett, and good morning all.

During the seven minutes I’m about to spend speaking about this fantastic project, about 42 more people will become U.S. Citizens.  One person every 11 seconds. That’s pretty fast. It’s no surprise, then, that our population recently topped 300 million, or that it will hit 400 million in less than 40 years.

Way back when Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State, the first census was conducted by U.S. Marshals who went from town to town on horseback, collecting critical data about our nation’s people and economy.

Today’s census workers do the same thing, but the job has gotten a bit more complicated. That’s why GSA is extremely proud to help dedicate this state-of-the-art headquarters – 1.5 million square feet, two garages with 3,100 parking spaces, and many more amenities - in plenty of time for our colleagues to properly conduct the 2010 decennial census.

As we know, information gathered by the Census Bureau is used for a variety of important purposes. Congress, for instance, uses the data to distribute federal resources.  So it’s important that the employees have an appropriate workplace.  This award-winning facility, located six miles from the capitol, provides the space and tools that the bureau needs to complete its upcoming mission. Six thousand Census employees will work at this headquarters.

The substantial federal investment here will also enhance the local economy.

So this ceremony is cause for celebration on many levels.

- It marks a major milestone in the Census Bureau’s plan to modernize and consolidate its operations.

- It completes GSA’s on-time, on budget delivery of a high quality work environment, including all the requisite technology and equipment and supplies.

- And it symbolizes the stellar results that can be achieved when different people and organizations work together toward a common goal.

Let me acknowledge some of those people and organizations:

- Senators Sarbanes and Mikulski, Congressmen Hoyer and Wynn, and all other members of the Maryland delegation who fought for the funding needed to get this project off the drawing board and on to the Suitland Federal Center.

- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LTD., which developed this wonderful concept design, both interior and exterior.  Thank you Gary Haney, Peter Mcgill, and Steve Apkin.

- Skanska USA Building, INC. And their architect and engineering partner HKS completed the design and construction of this magnificent building in record time. Special thanks to Mike Leondi and John Richardson. I’d also like to mention the mechanical system subcontractor --Southland Industries -- and the electrical system subcontractor -- Truland.

- And I want to recognize DMJM / Heery, which has provided important construction management and inspection services to GSA.  They have been a true construction management GSA agent.  We'd like to thank Chris Allen, Ned Mcgowan and Les Hunkele for their significant contributions. 

- I also want to acknowledge the support of Elsie Jacobs, President of the Suitland Citizens Association, and Sylvia Quinton of the Suitland Business Association.

GSA’s mission is to help other agencies better serve the public by providing goods, services and workspace at best value. The Census Bureau is among our most valued agency clients, and a terrific tenant to boot. Thank you to Census Director Charles Kincannon, project executive Walter Odom, Dr. Hermann Habermann and Ted Johnson for all the dedication, hard work and cooperation that you and your team demonstrated during this project.

Lastly, I'd like to thank David Winstead, Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, GSA Acting Regional Administrator Ann Everett and our entire GSA team, led by project executive Jag Bhargava, for bringing this project to a successful conclusion.

Thank you as well to the AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) for the invaluable assistance they have provided.

The vision and expertise of all these parties has resulted in a headquarters that supports the bureau’s mission, provides a world-class workplace, and supports revitalization of the Suitland community.

In closing, I’m excited that the end of this project does not signal an end to our partnership with the Census Bureau. Rather, as work on the decennial census moves forward, GSA will provide the bureau with numerous services, from leasing space for hundreds of Census offices nationwide to outfitting them with many required supplies.

We look forward to that important work, and to further strengthening our ties with the census bureau and the Suitland community.

Thank you very much.