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Winstead Helps Dedicate NOAA Facility

As prepared for delivery

Remarks by
 David Winstead
Public Buildings Service commissioner
U.S. General Services Administration
NOAA Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Suitland, Maryland
June 11, 2007

 

Thank you very much, Ann Everett. Good morning, everyone. I’m very pleased to represent Administrator Lurita Doan and the U.S. General Services Administration on this special day for NOAA, the Suitland Federal Center, and for our nation.

Administrator Lautenbacher, Undersecretary Kelly, Assistant Administrator Kicza – and to all our colleagues at NOAA –  was proud to help prepare this unique facility to help you achieve your very unique mission of service for the American people.

I know I am not alone in being awed by the breadth of the work that will be performed here and the daily impact it has on our citizens.

NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility collects the raw data used to create forecasts that warn of dangerous storms or simply when to carry an umbrella. The satellites detect forest fires, pick up distress signals during disasters, and assist in search and rescue missions.

The technology is amazing.

Harnessing the technology and interpreting the data is the work of the scientists.

Providing the facility to house the scientists and the technology and getting us to this momentous day has been the work of many determined, dedicated and passionate organizations and individuals.

I would like to briefly acknowledge:

  • Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin;
  • County Executive Jack Johnson of Prince George’s County;
  • The joint venture team of Morphosis / Einhorn Yafee Prescott, and the builder, PJ Dick of Pittsburgh;
  • Administrator Lautenbacher and the entire NOAA project team, led by Project Director Paul Pegnato;
  • And of course National Capital Region Deputy Regional Administrator Ann Everett and the GSA project team, led by project Executive Jag Bhargava and Project Manager Jimmy Hopkins.

No project better exemplifies the GSA mission. Our agency was created nearly six decades ago to provide superior goods, services and workspace to our federal colleagues so they could concentrate on their core missions. That was true in 1949, when collecting satellite data to predict the weather probably seemed like wishful thinking, and it is true in our time, when that dream has become reality.

Lastly, it is fitting that a facility so closely linked to the environment is expected to achieve a Gold Leed (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification for new construction. I think this demonstrates GSA’s commitment to world-class workplaces that not only meet the needs of our client agencies, but which also reduce air pollution and improve energy efficiency and independence.

You know, GSA is one of the largest public real estate organizations in the world. We have over 8,600 buildings; 347 million square feet of rentable space across all 50 states; and we serve more than 1 million federal employees at over 400 agencies and bureaus. 

That puts us in a position to lead by example, and I can’t think of a better example than the facility we’re all here to celebrate.

Again, on behalf of Administrator Doan, I extend thanks to all who will work here each day to make us all a bit safer, and congratulations to each of you who helped us achieve this remarkable milestone.

Thank you very much.