Posted by Heidi Schwartz
On March 4, 2014, the U.S. General Services Administration announced major construction and repair projects for public buildings outlined in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget request. The Administration’s budget request calls for important, common sense investments in the nation’s public buildings managed by U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). These investments would enable GSA to maintain and improve the real estate assets owned and paid for by the American people.
“The President’s budget includes the investments we need to help rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, ensure that federal agencies can support economic and job growth in communities across this country, and provide vital and high quality services for the public,” said GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini. “I know that with this budget, we will contribute to delivering the efficient and effective government that the American people expect.”
Investing in the Nation’s Public Buildings:
As a result of consecutive years of reduced funding, GSA’s portfolio of facilities have forgone more than $4 billion worth of capital improvements including major repairs and maintenance as well as critical additions to the inventory. While there has been some progress in addressing years of deferred repairs, there is still significant work to do in ensuring that these buildings can support the work of government in the 21st century. The President’s Budget restores GSA’s authority to use incoming rent funds to meet the urgent needs of its real estate portfolio by investing more than $1 billion in maintaining federal buildings that need major renovations and basic repairs and renovations instead of diverting those funds to other uses.
The Budget also identifies important construction projects across the country, including more than $745 million in investments in nine construction projects that range from land ports of entry to office buildings and courthouses.
Investing in Border Infrastructure:
The Budget request includes $420 million in provisions for three border crossing and inspection projects that will promote economic growth, national security, and improve conditions for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This provision includes work on the next phase of the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Southern California, the busiest border crossing in the world.
Making the Federal Real Estate Footprint Smaller and More Efficient:
The Budget request includes $100 million to further GSA’s efforts to consolidate agencies within existing federally owned space across the country to improve space utilization, optimize inventory, decrease reliance on leased space, increase energy and water conservation, and reduce the federal government’s footprint. GSA’s consolidation program will save taxpayer dollars by reducing agency dependence on leased space, and by reducing the total amount of space occupied by the government.
Improving Safety and Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings
The Budget request includes $100 million for projects that will improve safety systems, meet security requirements, cut energy costs, and reduce water consumption in buildings across the country.
These are all critical investments in infrastructure that will create significant savings by preventing costly emergency repairs in the future and by helping to maintain America’s public buildings.