New Building Among Options for Creating Space

Posted February 26, 2007 at 6:49pm

Congress currently is considering a number of options to relieve office overcrowding on Capitol Hill, even the possibility of moving some House staff into the former Food and Drug Administration building at 200 C St. SW.

“We are working with Congress to identify solutions to space issues and a number of options are being considered,” Architect of the Capitol spokeswoman Eva Malecki said Monday, but declined to discuss what options have been proposed.

But a Hill source said one plan that is at least on the table is for the AOC to take over the building that sits just across D Street from the Ford House Office Building “and the thought was to move the committee staff out of the Ford Building and then use the Ford Building as an administrative center. … That new building would be for committee staffs.”

That source noted that the move could take up to three years but stressed that no decision had been made to move forward with the plan at this point.

Meanwhile the House Appropriations subcommittee on the legislative branch will meet today with acting Architect Stephen Ayers to discuss the AOC’s long-range requirements for maintaining the Capitol complex. Though space issues may come up, the meeting is expected to focus on the many AOC projects already under way on Capitol Hill, such as the agency’s plan to address health and safety concerns in the miles of utility tunnels that run beneath the complex as well as other building preservation issues.

“As part of our long-term planning process we are working to achieve our stewardship responsibilities by providing a holistic approach to project management in order to enhance fiscal responsibility by providing Congress with a five-year project plan,” Malecki said of today’s hearing. “We are working to complete the Capitol complex-wide Facility Condition Assessments so that we may have a complete picture of the conditions of these facilities. We will work with Congress to further prioritize the investments made in our historic buildings in order to preserve them for future generations.”