Skip to main content

Administrator Doan Helps Dedicate Ferguson U.S. Courthouse in Miami

As prepared for delivery

Remarks by
Lurita A. Doan
Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
Wilkie D. Ferguson U.S. Courthouse Dedication
Miami, Florida
February 23, 2007


Thank you very much, Ed Fielder …

  • Mrs. Betty Ferguson;
  • Congressmen Meek and Diaz-Balart;
  • Chief Judge Zloch;
  • Friends of the court, ladies and gentlemen …

Good afternoon!

I bring congratulations from President Bush and all of us at GSA to everyone who helped us reach this momentous day. This is a terrific occasion for Miami, for Florida and for our nation.

To Betty T. Ferguson, widow of the late Judge Ferguson, I’d like to say that GSA plans, builds, and renovates dozens of buildings and courthouses each year. This one holds special meaning for me. Judge Ferguson was the son of a pastor who rose to a position that is among the most esteemed in our society. He was blessed with great vision, high intellect, and an even hand, three qualities that make good judges great.

As the first African American in Florida to have a Federal Courthouse named in his honor, he remains a pioneer. The obstacles he helped clear paved the way for thousands he did not know, including me, the first African American woman to lead GSA since its creation nearly six decades ago. It is fitting that this ceremony occur during African American History Month, a time when we honor the contributions black Americans have made to create an America – as the president has said …

  • where the dignity of every person is respected,
  • where hope and opportunity reach into every neighborhood,
  • and where every citizen has the chance to live the American dream.

That is certainly the legacy of Wilkie D. Ferguson, junior.

As we look around, I think we can agree this superb building well reflects his renowned spirit and work ethic, and his many, many achievements. The facility is notable for its openness and transparency, two elements I’m certain Judge Ferguson would appreciate.

As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude does not come without challenges. Fortunately the organizations and individuals behind this effort were up to the job. Let me acknowledge:

- David Winstead, Commissioner of GSA’s Public Buildings Service, Regional Administrator Ed Fielder, and the entire GSA team; in particular:

  • PBS Assistant Regional Administrator Ron Hertwig;
  • Donna Lamb, the Supervisory Project Manager;
  • and Terry Fuquea, the Senior Project Manager.

- Congressman Meek and Senator Nelson, who introduced legislation naming the Courthouse for Judge Ferguson, as well as Senator Martinez and all members of the Florida Congressional Delegation – for their support and for helping to secure funding for the facility.

- The Federal Judiciary is among GSA’s most important clients. Thanks to Judge Zloch, Judge Moore, Judges Graham and Barkett, and to the entire courts team for your help and guidance throughout…

- And I’d like to acknowledge: Construction Manager Welbro Ellis-don Construction; Arquitectonica, Designers Bernando Fort-brescia and Laurianda Spear, and the General Contractor, the Dick Corporation.

I am extremely proud of all the partners who helped us reach this day.

Please stand and be recognized!

Finally, know that GSA’s work does not end here. Our job and mission is to make sure all who work here can do their jobs without having to worry about any aspect of the facility. We’ve got them covered, and it is my pledge that we will provide future maintenance and upkeep in a manner that will not only support the operations of the court, but do so in a manner that will make us all proud.

Again, on behalf of GSA, on behalf of president bush and on behalf of the American People, congratulations, and best wishes for continued Success.