The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has reached a milestone in its implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, as it brought its total investments in construction projects to date to more than $1 billion.
According to GSA Acting Administrator Paul Prouty, the organization’s goal was to obligate the first $1 billion of the $5.5 billion appropriated to them under the ARRA by the end of July. “With that goal met,” says Prouty, “our focus now is to continue to get shovels in the ground as quickly as possible.” The money appropriated to GSA by the ARRA will be used to convert federal buildings into high-performance green buildings and build new energy-efficient federal buildings, courthouses, and land ports of entry.
“These projects will modernize our nation’s infrastructure and save taxpayer dollars by reducing the federal government’s consumption of energy and water, and increase our use of clean and renewable sources of energy,” says Prouty.
GSA’s first $1 billion of ARRA investments are funding projects at 120 buildings across the country, including a new courthouse with updated security requirements in Austin, TX; a land port of entry that will accommodate better commercial traffic flow and will have new primary inspection booths, offices, and processing areas in Otay Mesa, CA; and the installation of energy-efficient, blast-resistant windows and improved insulation at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston.
“Through our use of state-of-the-art green technologies, our construction projects are creating jobs in traditional construction sectors and in emerging green industries,” says Anthony Costa, acting commissioner of public buildings at GSA. “We’re driving growth and innovation that will ensure American leadership in the new energy economy of the future.”
The remaining $4.5 billion of ARRA funding for the GSA will be obligated by Sept. 30, 2011. Prouty stated that contract bids are coming in on an average of 8 to 10 percent lower than expected, allowing GSA to fund additional high-performance features in existing projects. Additionally, GSA is able to consider funding additional projects with the goal of continuing to stimulate the real estate, construction, and manufacturing sectors of the economy.