The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 55
items for inclusion in the project such as replacement of
bathroom fixtures and finishes."
Goodlatte says that's another casualty of the GSA's
rush to spend money without doing a proper evaluation
first. "In their haste to do this, they didn't do a proper
inspection of the building in terms of defects that were
there. Had they done that they would have detected
problems with the facade, which would have told them
this was not a good expenditure."
Another $1 million was budgeted to replace a wall
around the building's plaza. Smith said that includes not
just the restoration of the brick wall but also "demolition of new paving, landscaping and irrigation systems"
installed just before the renovation project was approved.
So many things went wrong, surely heads rolled
within the GSA.
In June, Michael Gelber, deputy commissioner of the
GSA's Public Buildings Service, told a congressional subcommittee that no one had been fired or disciplined
due to mismanagement of the Poff Building renovation.
That lack of accountability has stuck in Goodlatte's
"The GSA is out of control," Goodlatte says. "It does
not have any system for holding people accountable who
make these mistakes. It's highly questionable they even
care these mistakes have been made and that $82 million was spent on something that could have been done
for far, far less."
As the Poff Building approaches its own 40th anniversary amid a new round of revitalization in downtown
Roanoke, it's freshly renovated and a bit more energyefficient if not more functional or secure. It just took
the expenditure of more than $80 million in taxpayer
money, a furious congressman and another hit to the
government's credibility to get there. I
Then and more recently:
The construction in
1974 was a $14 million
finding the GSA violated
mittee's Subcommittee on
committee on Courts, In-
Goodlatte publicly calls for
the Federal Acquisition
Workers notice the build-
tellectual Property and the
a halt to the renovation,
Regulation by not obtain-
Public Buildings, and Emer-
ing's brick wall beginning
Internet holds a hearing on
calling it "a waste of tax-
ing an independent cost
gency Management holds
to bulge and separate
the GSA's renovation of fed-
payer dollars." Roanoke
estimate and the Compe-
a hearing entitled "RIchard
from the facade. Work is
eral courthouses, including
Times reporter Laurence
tition in Contracting Act
H. Poff Federal Building
halted to figure out why.
the Poff Building.
Hammack uses Freedom of
by including its guaran-
Renovation: Is It Costing
Information Act to write
teed maximum price in its
the Taxpayer Too Much?"
more than 25 stories over
request for proposals.
Interior renovation is com-
GSA awards $1.64 million in contracts to install
a new retaining wall and
fix the west-facing wall's
the next three years.
pleted, and most relocated
employees would return.
Work begins on the Poff
At Goodlatte's request,
Building. Employees in the
The GSA's Office of Inspec-
the House Transportation
tor General issues a report
and Infrastructure Com-
move to four locations.
The House Judiciary's Sub-