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Special Edition: Sandy

Behind the Bricks Winter 2013 Newletter Banner

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R2 Regional Commissioner Joanna Rosato
Joanna Rosato
Regional Commissioner

Regional Commissioner

Welcome to the Winter 2013 issue of the Region 2 GSA Public Buildings Service’s (PBS) Behind the Bricks newsletter. This special issue will focus on our shared experience of preparing for and recovering from Superstorm Sandy. Many of our customer agencies in New York and New Jersey were negatively impacted by prolonged power outages, sparse public transportation, and a diminished workforce. PBS worked closely to get them back to work as quickly and safely as possible. As you will read in the following articles, PBS’s emergency preparedness, along with our focus on telework and workforce mobility, allowed us to respond effectively to the storm while dealing with our own office closures and widely scattered personnel. There were of course many lessons learned from this experience, and we are working to implement further improvements in our response to disasters like Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy Map
This map of Sandy shows how large the storm initially was.

I think it is safe to say that this past year has been a challenging one for our organization! However, despite these challenges, we are able to celebrate several major accomplishments in 2012: Our new U.S. Courthouse in Buffalo, New York, winner of the 2011 Award for Design and Manufacturing Excellence from the Architectural Precast Association, was formally dedicated on May 3. PBS also put the finishing touches on a five-story parking garage for the Federico Degetau Federal Building and Ruiz Nazario U.S. Courthouse in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. The structure consolidates surface parking for 500 vehicles, making room for a new 240,000 square foot federal building, all while netting zero energy use. In addition, the Martin Luther King Jr. Courthouse and Federal Building in Newark, New Jersey was named “Office Building of the Year” by the Building Owners and Managers Association’s (BOMA) Middle Atlantic Conference. Finally, and probably our most high profile accomplishment, PBS signed a lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to occupy space in One World Trade Center, continuing the federal government’s support for the rebuilding efforts at the site.

In 2013, PBS has made the commitment to improve our working relationships with our customers. We are continuing to place an emphasis on quality project management, open communication, and realigning our organization to better serve customers and ultimately the taxpayer. We’re looking forward to a great year and we hope you enjoy this special edition of Behind the Bricks.


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