Federal construction wishlists total $8.6 billion

Federal agencies released their wishlists for more than 160 construction projects in the Washington, D.C., area during the next six years. Twenty-six of the projects are on the lists for the first time, including a $900 million expanded military medical complex, a $380 million space engineering facility, and a $170 renovation to the Smithsonian Castle.


Federal agencies released their wishlists for more than 160 construction projects in the Washington, D.C., area during the next six years. Twenty-six of the projects are on the lists for the first time, including a $900 million expanded military medical complex, a $380 million space engineering facility, and a $170 renovation to the Smithsonian Castle.


The six-year cost for all 163 projects is $8.6 billion. The National Capital Planning Commission, which oversees federal building projects in the Washington, D.C., area and compiles the annual list, expects more projects to be added before the list is made final in September.


The planning commission is scheduled to vote on all of the projects requested by agencies in September and then forward the capital plan to the Office of Management and Budget, which will use the guidance to help determine how much money should be requested for each project in next year’s proposed budget.


Several big-ticket items have been added to agencies’ wish lists this year. The Navy has one of the largest single projects on the list, a $900 million renovation and expansion to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., which will be rechristened the Walter Reed National Medical Center. The

existing Walter Reed Army Medical Center

in Washington is being shut down.


The commission gave final approval last week to three projects at the heart of the makeover: a new outpatient facility and an expanded inpatient center, which combined will provide 638,000 additional square feet of treatment space; and a state-of-the-art facility for treating and researching post-traumatic stress disorders and traumatic brain injuries.


NASA has state-of-the-art plans of its own: a $380 million engineering facility at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., that will support the development of nanotechnology and other scientific advancements. The facility is new to the list this year, although NASA won’t request funding for it until fiscal 2010.


Another new project on the list involves renovating something decidedly old: the first Smithsonian Institution building, known simply as the Castle. The historic building, completed in 1855, is in need of all new mechanical, electrical, plumbing and communications systems.


The Smithsonian plans to install new energy-efficient systems that will control and monitor environmental conditions, save operating and maintenance costs and ensure the continued life of the building. The projected cost of the project is $170 million, which extends beyond 2014. The agency won’t begin requesting funding for the project until fiscal 2011.

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