The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 54

analysis determined that renovation of the existing
facility with Recovery Act funding was the most costeffective option."
"They made it all about greening the building when
they didn't have any kind of study telling them they could
accomplish that," Goodlatte says. "They talked about a
new roof, new windows, new HVAC. That's generally
a good thing, but the cost of project relative to energy
savings doesn't ever work out. The cost of this pays back
in energy savings over 218 years...The life expectancy of
the building and HVAC system is only 30 years."
When the GSA released its request for proposals to
potential bidders, it included the guaranteed maximum
price - the most it would pay for construction work
- which violated the Competition in Contracting Act.
Not surprisingly, all 10 bids came in with identical construction costs - $39 million, the guaranteed maximum.
Since all the bids came in with identical construction
costs, the GSA awarded the contract to multinational
construction contractor Balfour Beatty based on design
costs, which totaled less than 1 percent of the contract's
total value.
"In short, a contractor need only be competitively
priced on a $225,000 option to win a contract in excess
of $40 million," wrote Nicholas Goco, who authored the
inspector general's report.

Congressman Bob
Goodlatte: "The GSA is out
of control."

IN TESTIMONY TO a congressional subcommittee in
April of 2011, Inspector General Brian Miller tried to
answer the title of the hearing: "Richard H. Poff Federal Building Renovation: Is It Costing the Taxpayer
Too Much?''
"The answer is we cannot tell, and we cannot tell
because of how GSA awarded the contract," Miller responded. "GSA set the price for construction, instead
of using competition. Without competition, we cannot

gauge whether the prices are fair and reasonable."
Ehrenwerth argued that releasing the maximum price
allowed for earlier collaboration between the agency and
contractor, but he also admitted the practice was "not
appropriate."
Screw-ups renovating the Poff Building, however,
were far from complete. The $51 million budget left out
costs to relocate the federal offices during construction,
which cost an additional $11.5 million.
The renovation itself was marked by a general lack of
communication between the GSA, the contractor and
the tenants who actually use the building. The tenants
were shut out of pre-project planning, meaning they
had no input on features that would make the building
more useable.
Then, while work was underway, with only a couple
of exceptions, "it was as if a wall of silence had been established between the court on one side, and the project
contractor and GSA on the other," said Judge Conrad.
The GSA management team from Philadelphia visited
only monthly and went through three project managers in three years, according to congressional testimony
from Jennifer Smith, who represented the U.S. district
court in meetings with the GSA and contractor.
That lack of presence meant the GSA also provided
poor oversight of the contractor. Smith cited numerous
code violations, flooding issues, frequent unnecessary
fire alarms, unsafe working conditions and security
breaches, including workers spying on staff to obtain
certain security codes.
The apparently unexpected discovery of collapsing
brick facades and major water issues in the 2-story employee parking deck created a new round of problems
and an additional $15 million in work. Smith claimed in
her testimony that the GSA knew about those problems
but left them out of the budget in favor of "lower priority

POFF FEDERAL BUILDING: 40-YEAR TIMELINE
1974

Obama signs it into law.

Goodlatte sends his first

JULY, 2009

NOVEMBER, 2009

New federal building con-

About $109 million goes

letter to the GSA express-

GSA posts the Request for

GSA awards a design and

structed in downtown Roa-

to projects in Roanoke.

ing his concerns about the

Proposals to FedBizOpps,

construction contract to

renovation project. A series

including the guaranteed

Balfour Beatty Corpora-

APRIL, 2009

of sporadic correspondence

maximum price within the

tion. The total $42.5 mil-

1975

U.S. Sens. Jim Webb and

follows, with Goodlatte

RFP.

lion contract includes $11.3

Federal building officially

Mark Warner announce the

growing increasingly con-

opens.

GSA will receive more than

cerned.

noke.

million for Balfour Beatty,
as well as $13 million for

GSA awards a $6.5 million

$66.3 million to renovate

SEPTEMBER, 2009

Southern Air, Inc., $10 mil-

FEBRUARY, 2009

and modernize five fed-

JUNE, 2009

design contract to TranSys-

lion to American Door and

Congress passes the $787

eral buildings in Virginia,

GSA, posts a notice to so-

tems Corporation of Kan-

Glass and smaller amounts

billion American Recovery

including an allocation of

licit proposals for design

sas City, Missouri.

to other subcontractors.

and Reinvestment Act of

$50.9 million for the Poff

services on the project.

2009, and President Barack

building. Congressman Bob

54 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014

THE

R OANOKER.COM



The Roanoker - September/October 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - September/October 2014

Digital Help Guide
From the Publisher
The Look
The 360
The Gossip
The Flavor
The Gist
The Calendar
Roanoke in the Year 2054
Appreciations and Deprecations: Perspectives on Roanoke Over the Years
What Really Happened with Design ‘79?
The Poff Building Debacle
Roanoke Then & Now
40 Stars of 40 Years
Covers Great, Covers Not-So-Great
Green Building
Restaurants of Old … and Still Here!
Dining: Fiji Island and the New Yorker Deli
The Dish
The Perfect Weekend
Retire-VA
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Intro
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Cover1
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Cover2
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 3
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 4
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 5
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 6
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 7
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Digital Help Guide
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 9
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - From the Publisher
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 11
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - The Look
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 13
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - The 360
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 15
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - The Gossip
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 17
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - The Flavor
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 19
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - The Gist
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 21
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 22
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - The Calendar
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 24
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 25
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 26
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 27
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 28
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 29
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Roanoke in the Year 2054
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 31
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 32
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 33
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 34
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 35
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 36
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 37
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 38
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 39
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Appreciations and Deprecations: Perspectives on Roanoke Over the Years
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 41
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 42
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 43
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 44
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 45
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 46
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 47
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - What Really Happened with Design ‘79?
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 49
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 50
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 51
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - The Poff Building Debacle
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 53
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 54
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 55
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Roanoke Then & Now
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 57
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 40 Stars of 40 Years
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 59
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 60
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 61
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 62
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 63
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 64
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 65
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 66
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 67
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 68
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 69
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 70
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 71
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 72
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 73
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 74
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 75
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 76
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 77
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 78
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 79
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 80
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 81
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 82
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Covers Great, Covers Not-So-Great
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 84
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 85
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 86
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 87
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 88
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Green Building
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 90
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 91
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 92
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 93
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 94
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 95
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 96
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 97
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 98
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Retire-VA
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R2
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R3
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R4
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R5
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R6
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R7
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R8
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R9
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R10
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R11
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R12
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R13
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R14
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R15
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R16
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R17
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R18
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R19
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R20
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R21
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R22
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R23
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R24
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R25
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R26
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R27
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R28
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R29
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R30
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R31
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R32
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Restaurants of Old … and Still Here!
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 100
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 101
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 102
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 103
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Dining: Fiji Island and the New Yorker Deli
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 105
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 106
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 107
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 108
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 109
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - The Dish
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 111
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 112
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 113
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - The Perfect Weekend
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Cover3
The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - Cover4
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