Congressman Steny Hoyer announced that the FY 2006 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, and District of Columbia Appropriations conference report, passed by the House of Representatives today, includes $127.6 million for the next phase of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consolidation at White Oak, Maryland. It is the largest single year appropriation in the seven-year history of the project.
The funds are contained in the budget for the General Services Administration (GSA), which is overseeing the massive construction project that will consolidate most FDA offices and laboratories in the Greater Washington area. Congressman Hoyer is a senior member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that funds federal building construction.
The $127.6 million will be used mainly for construction of a 400,000 square foot office building for FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), which will house 1,300 employees; the Central Shared Use II building, which will contain a 650-seat auditorium, the main cafeteria and training facilities; a second parking garage; and design for future construction on the site.
"With this amount, a total of $442 million has been appropriated by Congress for this vital project over the past seven years," said Congressman Hoyer, who has been the lead advocate for this project in the House of Representatives. "I'm proud to have played a role in that process."
"When completed, some 7,700 FDA employees will work in modern office buildings and laboratories with state-of-the art equipment, all in a beautiful and highly secure campus at what we are calling the Federal Research Facility at White Oak," he said. "It will be a facility of which the State of Maryland, the nation, and all who work there can be proud."
Currently, FDA headquarters and program offices are scattered in 40 buildings at 18 different locations in the Greater Washington area. The consolidation is taking place on the site of the former Naval Surface Warfare Center at White Oak, which was shut down in the 1995 Defense Base Realignment and Closure round.
Some 1,800 FDA employees currently work at White Oak. About 100 occupy the Life Sciences Laboratory, which opened in December 2003. The remaining 1,700 occupy the office building of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, which was completed last May. Congressman Hoyer spoke at the dedication ceremonies for both buildings.
The entire consolidation project is scheduled to be completed in 2010. "We must continue to invest in this critical project and make sure it is completed on time," said Mr. Hoyer. "The consolidation will ensure the FDA is performing its vital mission in protecting the nation's food and drug supplies with the utmost efficiency and effectiveness."