OFFICE OF PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Capital Budget Joint Hearing: Committee of the Whole, Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations, and Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary
Testimony of Robin-Eve Jasper
Adrian M. Fenty
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Vincent C. Gray, Chairman
COMMITTEE ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
Carol Schwartz, Committee Chairperson
COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFTEY AND THE JUDCIARY
Phil Mendelson, Committee Chairperson
Friday, February 8, 2008
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-3003
Good morning Chairman Gray, Councilmember Schwartz, Councilmember Mendelson and members of the Council. I am Robin-Eve Jasper, Interim Director of the Office of Property Management (OPM). Today I will provide an overview of several of OPM’s major capital projects while outlining how these projects are managed and the steps we are putting in place to improve this process.
While OPM is best known as the agency responsible for managing and maintaining the space utilized by District agencies, our agency also is scheduled to perform over $700 million in design and construction projects through FY 2013. These projects are far reaching and will play a significant role in improving services provided to District residents, assist in supporting economic development in neighborhoods outside of the central business district and reduce the District’s dependence on leased space. In my testimony today, I hope to highlight some of these projects and provide background on how OPM manages them along with the challenges we face as an agency moving forward.
OPM Capital Projects
The current capital budget includes major capital projects such as government centers and major building alterations that were established in years past as well as pool funds for example, for windows, roof, and HVAC repair and replacement emergencies. OPM is embarking on a new more systematic approach to establish sound baselines from which we can assess and project future capital needs. To accomplish this objective OPM is working through the Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP) to advertise a District-wide condition assessment of facilities. Thus far, OPM has submitted five individual bid packages to OCP to assess every facility managed by OPM, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Fire and Emergency Services (FEMS) and the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).
OPM is working to build a top flight construction services division. This will include hiring additional Project Managers and Assistant Project Managers. These Assistant Project Managers will assist “on time and on budget” project delivery and provide succession planning.
And though we are seeking to expand our construction services division, I believe that the District’s capital projects are in good hands with OPM’s current roster of exceptionally talented Senior Project Managers. All together this team has over 150 years of industry experience, which includes the design and oversight of major construction projects. Among these individuals are:
Allam Al-Alami, the Project Manager for the Consolidated Forensic Laboratory (CFL), who has over 24 years of construction experience in both the public and private sector and was responsible for the Project Manager of the new Unified Communications Center on Martin Luther King Avenue, SE;
Aram Kailian, the Project Manager for the Minnesota/Benning and Anacostia Government Centers as well as the Waterfront Project in Southwest. He has over 35 years of experience in the private sector as an architect with extensive experience in design, program and project management and construction management;
And leading this team is our Deputy Director – Construction Gerick Smith, who joined the District from the City of Chicago with over 13 years of experience in the construction industry.
Working closely with other District agencies, OPM is seeking to institute new initiatives that will improve the timeframe in which services can be delivered. OPM has worked closely with Dr. David Gragan of OCP to simplify, accelerate and better coordinate the procurement process. This close relationship has led to recent procurement successes with the MPD property and evidence warehouse. For example, OCP, OPM and OCTO have created a website providing contractors with information concerning the evidence warehouse and will soon issue an RFP for the entire project. OCP recently issued a contract for construction and project management services for the CFL and will soon issue the general construction contractor bid this summer.
OPM is also working jointly with the Office of Finance and Resource Management (OFRM) to identify opportunities to accelerate the processing of invoices for project contractor vendors. Day-to-day operations of our vendors, in particular local small business vendors, are adversely affected when payments for services are delayed. Our experience has been that vendors often build a premium into their contract bids, simply for doing business with the District. In an effort to mitigate this potential extra cost of doing business with OPM, our partners at OFRM are working to streamline the payment process for these vendors, and ultimately reduce costs for construction services.
I would like to take this time to highlight some of the projects that OPM has been involved with over the past year and some of the projects that will be the focus of our agency in the coming years. These projects represent a significant portion of OPM’s capital portfolio and exemplify some of the work being done across the District.
The devastating fire that damaged Eastern Market (Market) last April presented an unwanted challenge, but also created an opportunity to move quickly to complete the Eastern Market renovation plan that was underway before the fire. Heeding the call for quick action from District residents, Mayor Fenty responded to the fire by building a temporary East Hall for the displaced Market merchants, and by pushing forward with plans to renovate and restore the Market. After the completion of the fire remediation, the renovation was split into three projects: the roof project, the window restoration, and lastly, the interior renovation and restoration. This allowed work on the roof to begin swiftly while providing ample time for community input, including meetings between each merchant and the architect team, to ensure when the Market re-opened, it was truly a collaborative effort.
I am pleased to inform you that the South Hall roof replacement project is on schedule, window work is underway, and that the main renovation contract will soon be awarded. The temporary East Hall has been a success, with some merchants reporting sales at or above the pre-fire levels. When the renovated Market reopens in 2009, the merchants and artists will find a facility that retains its place as a center of activity on Capitol Hill.
We are proud of the way OPM, other District agencies including the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Historic Preservation Review Board, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), Water and Sewer Authority and the Capitol Hill community have continuously collaborated on this effort. This cooperation exemplifies the model we hope to employ on all of our capital projects.
MPD Property and Evidence Warehouse
Currently located on Shannon Place, SE, MPD’s property and evidence warehouse is currently located in a dilapidated facility and requires a new location. OPM, in collaboration with MPD, OCP and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer have embarked upon an accelerated process to identify and implement a total solution for the storage of MPD evidence. This solution is likely to include technology to accomplish evidence inventory and tracking, as well as high density storage equipment that incorporates automated retrieval and a building designed to securely house these functions.
Consolidated Forensic Laboratory
The CFL is on schedule and will be ready for occupancy in 2011. Design development is complete and construction bid documents should be completed by July 2008.
The CFL will not only include the Police Crime Laboratory functions but also the DOH Public Health Laboratory and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. This facility, to be located at Fourth and School Streets, SW, will enhance the District’s public safety infrastructure by providing the tools necessary for our public safety agencies to perform tasks that they would otherwise have to outsource.
The CFL design will comply with the requirements put forth under the Council’s green building legislation and is currently on track to qualify as a LEED Gold building.
As you are aware, the CFL will occupy space currently utilized by the MPD’s 1st District Headquarters. With the announcement of the closing of the Bowen Elementary school, OPM will be able to work with MPD to relocate the 1st District headquarters; meeting both the time needs for construction of the CFL and the community desire to keep the 1st District in Southwest. Design for the relocation of 1st District to Bowen is already underway and we anticipate build out to begin as soon as the school year is complete. Working with MPD, OPM is also exploring the possibility of relocating the Violent Crimes Unit to this location. Occupancy of Bowen will occur at the end of this year.
Government Centers Projects
Two of the largest projects in OPM’s capital portfolio program are the new Government Centers, which will be located at the Anacostia Gateway, SE and Minnesota/Benning Road, NE. These buildings will serve as the headquarters for DDOT and the Department of Employment Services (DOES), respectively.
The Anacostia Gateway Government Center will feature 350,000 square feet of office space, ground floor retail and 2 levels of underground parking. This project is part of the greater plan to promote business and economic development in Anacostia; creating jobs and encouraging retail while providing District-owned space for one of the District’s largest agencies. The project is currently under evaluation for the selection of the development team and will be certified LEED Silver.
At Minnesota/Benning, a solicitation for construction management is underway to build the new DOES Headquarters. This project features 225,000 square feet of office space, first floor retail space, and 1.5 levels of underground parking. This building will be certified at least LEED Silver and we are evaluating the possibility of seeking LEED Gold. After the contract is awarded, construction is scheduled to commence this spring/summer. The project is scheduled for completion in 2010. The headquarters will be built immediately in front of the 4 story WMATA parking garage which is nearly complete.
At OPM, we are looking at our capital projects as well as the rest of our activities with a focus on providing high quality customer service to our client agencies and the public and to delivering cost-efficient and effective facilities.
I am happy to answer any questions the Committee may have at this time.