This morning, Secretary Napolitano and General Services Administration (GSA) Acting Administrator Paul Prouty were joined on a rainy Wednesday in Washington, D.C. by U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty, and Washington Councilman Marion Barry to break ground on the new DHS headquarters on the Saint Elizabeths Hospital campus in the southeast quarter of the city.
The move to St. Elizabeths will mark a new chapter for the department, as we begin the process of consolidating many of our offices around the city into the new headquarters. The Secretary spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of departmental unity and the economic benefit to the area that will result from the new headquarters:
“The Department of Homeland Security continues to unify our many components into one cohesive agency with a shared central mission,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The construction of our new headquarters at St. Elizabeths using Recovery Act funding will help consolidate more than 35 offices in the Washington area while creating thousands of local jobs.”Senator Lieberman spoke as well, noting that the new headquarters is the largest building project in the Washington metro area since the Pentagon. That groundbreaking was held 68 years ago this week, on September 11th, 1941, and 60 years to the day before the 9/11 attacks. It was that same day in 1941 that President Roosevelt spoke to the American people during one of his fireside chats, saying, "When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike you, do not wait until he has struck." Senator Lieberman talked about the creation of the deparment after the 9/11 attacks, and how our foundation, and our continuing mission, fall in line with President Roosevelt's message to the American people that evening.
The new headquarters will be partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and the first phase of the project is the new headquarters for the Coast Guard, a $435 million investment, and slated for occpuancy starting in 2013.
We'll have video from the event soon.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.