Moore ‘instrumental’ following FDA flood

October 13, 2020

By Charlie Cook

Image of office hallway with carpets covered in water.
Photo of office space with carpets, panels and about two feet of the bottom of a wall removed.
Top: Standing water covers the carpet at the FDA Kansas City District Office following a water expansion tank rupture Sept. 20.

Bottom: A full restoration project is now underway following the Sept. 20 flood at the FDA Kansas City District Office. Repairs are expected to be complete by the end of this calendar year.

Photographs by Benjamin Moore

Kansas Field Office Lease Management Specialist Benjamin Moore was quick to react following a recent flood that led to the temporary closing of FDA’s Kansas City District Office in Lenexa, Kansas.

On Sept. 20, a water expansion tank ruptured leaving the entire 16,000-square-foot office with about 4 inches of water, and damaging critical fire protection infrastructure. Moore immediately reached out to the lessor and began coordinating restoration efforts, including ensuring a fire watch was posted while the systems could be repaired.

“These experiences are always full of lessons learned with complexities of life and fire safety concerns, efforts to deal with government equipment, agency personal property, etc. It can get out of control quickly if you let it,” Moore said.

Contractors were able to restore fire protection the following day. And, after extracting the water, more than 100 dehumidifiers were brought in to dry all damaged surfaces. A full restoration project is expected to be completed by the end of this calendar year.

“This was a new experience for the lessor, so I wanted to make sure they understood the requirements and their responsibilities from the lease on what was needing to be done and in what order,” Moore said. “The lessor had several other tenants impacted by this, and all had different expectations and requirements. Knowing this, I knew it was imperative to establish daily correspondence with weekly updates on the remediation progress for both FDA and GSA in order to keep lanes straight on what FDA needs were as opposed to other tenants.”

Brian Wohletz, a senior building manager in the Kansas Field Office, said Moore was “instrumental” in helping the FDA recover.

“He helped secure the facility and ensure the lessor was responding right away for cleanup and water extraction,” Wohletz said. “The FDA has been very happy with the involvement Benjamin has provided, and with his thorough communications and frequent on-site visits during the cleanup process.”

Planning for Success

Moore is also actively involved with the PBS Leasing Division’s build-out and move preparation for a new HHS-FDA lab in Lenexa — including coordinating customer concerns, move planning and on-site involvement.

“Benjamin had the foresight to work with the lease contracting officer to incorporate additional agency requirements into the lease that will save on future RWAs and additional service contracts,” Wohletz said. “This will save money on resources and time spent administratively each year.”

Moore said his response to the FDA district office flood and his input on the new lab lease reflects on his leadership’s support and concepts he’s learned from others.

“(My leadership’s) full support and trust empowers me to be able to take care of our tenant agencies in a manner that positively reflects GSA’s professionalism and customer service,” he said. “Over the last year of working with GSA I have incorporated successful practices and concepts that I learned from Bryant Schneider, Darren Miller, James Bradford, Nick Freeman and many others. As I continue to learn and grow in my GSA career, I truly believe in the work we do and the service we provide.”

Last Reviewed: 2020-10-29