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Coast Guard headquarters is only sure part of DHS consolidation

Mar. 19, 2013 - 03:30PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
The Coast Guard headquarters will be the only part of the Department of Homeland Security's planned consolidation to be completed at the former St. Elizabeth's Hospital site in Southeast Washington.
The Coast Guard headquarters will be the only part of the Department of Homeland Security's planned consolidation to be completed at the former St. Elizabeth's Hospital site in Southeast Washington. (File photo / Getty Images)

The Coast Guard headquarters will be the only part of the Department of Homeland Security’s planned consolidation to be completed, as of now, the General Services Administration’s top official said Tuesday.

“There is only so much we can do given that there aren’t additional resources for construction,” acting administrator Dan Tangherlini told reporters after a hearing of the House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government.

GSA will continue working with DHS on preliminary designs for a more ambitious headquarters consolidation, but there is not enough funding this year to do much besides the Coast Guard headquarters project, he said.

The continuing resolution, which expires March 27, authorizes GSA to spend $50 million for new construction and $280 million for renovations. Rep. José Serrano, ranking member of the subcommittee, said a pending spending bill for the remainder of this fiscal year will not likely add more money for construction projects.

The Coast Guard headquarters is to be completed in the next few months for nearly 4,000 employees. The initial DHS consolidation plan had called for more than 14,000 DHS employees to be housed in dozens of buildings at the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital site in Southeast Washington site by 2016.

Low funding also has forced GSA to cut back on maintenance for federal buildings it manages and could result in boilers breaking down or roofs failing, Tangherlini said.

“The lack of investment is going to come back in the form of dramatic concerns,” he said.

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