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Administrator Doan Helps Celebrate Renovation of U.S. Courthouse in Pittsburgh

As prepared for delivery


Remarks by
Lurita A. Doan
Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
U.S. Courthouse Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
November 2, 2006

 

Thank you very much, Barbara.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

It’s a pleasure to be here with:

Judge Lancaster … Chief Judge Ambrose … Architect Shalom Baranes … and the many others who have helped us reach this terrific day.

This was a difficult project. Imagine trying to cook dinner while they’re re-doing the kitchen. That’s a little bit of what it was like trying to renovate a courthouse originally built in 1934 without vacating the building. Indeed, everyone at the old courthouse kept working while:

  • six new courtrooms were added;
  • five historic courtrooms were restored;
  • and various security enhancements were added.

That’s an amazing feat, and I’m sure nerves came close to fraying at times. Fortunately, the court, the community and the taxpayers now have a world-class facility that will serve Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities today and well into the future.

That’s a credit to the terrific cooperation and mutual respect that exist between GSA and our important client, the federal judiciary, to the other partners selected to participate in this venture, and to the perseverance, talent and commitment demonstrated by all.

I’d like to thank and congratulate:

- Senators Specter and Santorum, and all members of the state delegation who fought for and secured the necessary funding for this project. I’d like to thank Stan Caldwell, Senator Specter’s Executive Director, and Keith Schmidt, Senator Santorum’s State Director for their attendance today.

I also appreciate the extraordinary efforts of:

  • Shalom Baranes Architects;
  • URS Corporation, the design engineers;
  • Dick Corporation, the general contractor;
  • Gilbane Company, the construction quality manager;
  • and artists Lia Cook and Brian Shure.

Last is our GSA team, led by Regional Administrator Barbara Shelton and Project Manager Larry Boreali.

As you heard, Commissioner Winstead is as proud as I am that this project provides world-class workspace and amenities, and restores one of Pittsburgh’s historic landmarks.

David mentioned our visit to New Orleans for the Preserve America Summit. That event brought together experts from around the nation to discuss on-going preservation initiatives as we marked the 40th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

I hope that the renovation of the U.S. Courthouse in Pittsburgh demonstrates how strongly committed we are to this vital legislation. David, incidentally, will be leaving to receive an award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which happens to be holding its annual conference in town.

In closing, I want to again thank our partners and all who helped us deliver a special facility that will serve our judges as they administer justice and help decide the important issues of the day.

GSA’s work does not end here. Our mission is to enable the judiciary to do its work without having to worry about any aspect of the building. We will do just that, providing future maintenance and upkeep in a manner that will make us all proud.

On behalf of GSA, on behalf of President Bush and on behalf of the American people, congratulations, and best wishes for continued success in the future.

Thank you very much.