Region 9 Newsroom
We reach citizens and consumers, businesses, and government customers in the four states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada, as well as overseas in American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Diego Garcia, Guam, mainland Japan and Okinawa, the Republic of Korea, Saipan, and Singapore.
Our Public Affairs Office for the Pacific Rim, located in San Francisco, issues media releases and advisories to provide important information on regional GSA activities, events, and projects that impact and serve these audiences.
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UN Plaza in San Francisco gets gold
Building Design+Construction recently named the renovated 50 United Nations Plaza in San Francisco's Civic Center a reconstruction Gold Award winner. The 15 winners of the 2014 Reconstruction Awards showcase the best work of architects, engineers, contractors, building owners and facility managers encompassing historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and renovations and additions. The 350,000 square-foot LEED Platinum renovation symbolizes GSA's approach to saving historic structures while achieving high-performance green retrofits. Improved working conditions for employees was a high priority for this complex revival of a Great Depression era landmark, and it is now the home of the agency's Pacific Rim Region headquarters. The other GSA award winners: The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Oregon won a Silver Award, and the Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado won a Bronze Award.
Tucson courts honor Beacon Group employees for 14 years of custodial service
In conjunction with the U.S. District Court, the Beacon Group conducted a recognition ceremony last week for its employees who maintain the Evo A. DeConcini Courthouse. The Beacon Group, a SourceAmerica™ AbilityOne® contractor, has provided janitorial services for several GSA-owned properties in Tucson since 2000. The organization, which offers training, development and access to real work for 2,100 disabled people a year in southern Arizona, also recognized Congressman Ron Barber with an AbilityOne Congressional Champions award.
SourceAmerica is celebrating its 40th year as an organization that creates employment opportunities for people with disabilities through a network of nonprofit agency partners. The AbilityOne Program is the largest single provider of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. SourceAmerica and National Industries for the Blind established the AbilityOne Congressional Champions Program in 2002 to honor Representatives and Senators who have demonstrated a commitment to their constituents with disabilities and to the AbilityOne Program.
GSA Commissioner from DC inspects progress at San Ysidro land port
On the heels of the completion of the new headhouse at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, GSA's Commissioner for the Public Buildings Service toured the facility last week to check on its modernization progress. Norman Dong got a first-hand view of the newly opened state-of-the-art Command Center inside the headhouse that is enhancing Customs and Border Protection operations at the port. Final canopy construction work is underway, and when Phase IB of the project is completed in November, CBP will be able to process vehicles through 24 new lanes and 47 new primary inspection booths. The expanded capacity is expected to reduce border crossing wait times from more than two hours to less than 30 minutes.
GSA completes new headhouse at San Ysidro Land Port of Entry
Work at the new San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE) headhouse was completed last month and the anchor tenant, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is currently occupying the new 3-story, 84,000-square-foot building. The headhouse acts as the port’s nerve center, where CBP officers are able to monitor activity, coordinate response to smuggling events, take proactive action to reduce wait queues and conduct daily functions to ensure the port operates smoothly.
“We are very pleased to have moved in and to be operating in the new headhouse,” said Port Director Sidney Aki. “It’s a big improvement over the previous facility. This building includes state-of-the-art technology, which greatly enhances our ability to conduct our mission, safely and efficiently.”
The new headhouse is a lean, green building that features a solar water heater system that provides hot water for the building and solar panels that generate about 1.2 megawatts of energy. It also conserves water via ultra-low flow water fixtures, rainwater retention infrastructure and an onsite waste water treatment system that repurposes gray water for reuse in irrigation.
Regional Administrator Cox presents at NALEO Conference
On June 26, Regional Administrator Ruth Cox gave a presentation about GSA’s Land Ports of Entry (LPOE) program to a packed conference room at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Conference in San Diego. The breakout session was entitled “U.S. and Mexico Bi-National Issues: Exploring Challenges and Opportunities Together” and featured other panel experts including the Mexican Consul General for San Diego, Remedios Gomez Arnau, and former California State Senator, Denise Moreno Ducheny.
With 44 border stations along the U.S. - Mexico border and over $500 billion in annual trade, Mexico is the second largest market for U.S. exports. In her presentation, Ms. Cox explained the importance of LPOEs and the critical role they play in the U.S. economy as gateways of commerce, culture and people. “The United States and Mexico share more than just a physical border. Our land ports of entry play a vital role in not only the security of our nation but also in facilitating economic trade and prosperity, cultural exchange, and connecting families and binational communities,” said Cox. She highlighted the significant amount of binational coordination required to expand and improve infrastructure at our nation’s borders.
GSA briefs San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
Regional Administrator Ruth Cox and Land Port of Entry (LPOE) Program Manager Anthony Kleppe were invited to brief the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce on June 26. In attendance were approximately 40 representatives from various trade groups, chambers of commerce and business organizations interested in GSA’s regional LPOE program and ongoing construction and expansion projects. The event was moderated by Jerry Sanders, the current President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
In their presentation, Ms. Cox and Mr. Kleppe updated stakeholders on the construction progress at the San Ysidro LPOE, which is currently undergoing a multi-phase $740 million complete expansion and realignment project. Having recently received funding for Phase III of the project, GSA is conducting stakeholder outreach to raise awareness of its plans for this next phase which includes the permanent realignment of the Interstate 5 South freeway to the Mexican inspection station, El Chaparral. GSA is also collaborating with local, state and federal government agencies to construct a multimodal transit center on the west side of the port in support of a new bidirectional pedestrian crossing. Additionally, GSA spoke about the Calexico West LPOE expansion and renovation project, which has been included in the President’s fiscal year 2015 budget and will include 10 new northbound privately owned vehicle primary inspection lanes, secondary inspection area, headhouse as well as a new southbound roadway and bridge.
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