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Travis Williams, a 41-year-old construction assistant superintendent, lost his job in 2009 and his family almost lost their home to foreclosure. In March 2010, he was hired to work on the Whipple project.

Modernizing for Efficiency

GSA is replacing the old, inefficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system at the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building in Fort Snelling with a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system that uses geothermal ground wells. This system will be one of the largest installed in the upper Midwest and will be about 72 percent more efficient than traditional electric heating and air conditioning systems.

The building’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire safety systems will also receive a major overhaul. Some of these components date to the original 1960s construction. The building’s interior and exterior lighting systems will also be replaced.

The savings for the new lighting system is estimated at about 20 percent below the building's current lighting energy consumption. Energy savings for the overall project is projected to be about 30 percent lower than current annual costs. The total price for the Whipple project is estimated at $158 million.

One beneficiary of GSA’s Recovery Act work at the Whipple Building is Travis Williams, a 41-year-old construction assistant superintendant. In 2009, Williams lost his job, and his family almost lost its home to foreclosure. In March 2010, he was hired to work on the Whipple project. Watch his story.

Read more about GSA’s Recovery Act efforts.



Cat Langel
(312) 353-5663


B.H. Whipple Federal Building 
Fort Snelling, MN

Project Size:
Approximately: 618,000 square feet (With major replacement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire/life safety systems throughout the building, utilizing it to incorporate geothermal technology).

Total ARRA Funding:
$160 million

Scheduled Completion:

Major Tenants:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Interior – Fish and Wildlife Service
Department of Defense
Department of Homeland Security


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