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lows the General Contractor to start up the major construction once notice to proceed is given.
The new schedule calls for work on both the Tree Preservation and the Utility Relocation packages to commence in the late Fall of this year upon approval by the Capitol Preservation Commission for these expenditures. Construction of a new temporary visitor screening facility on the West Terrace will also begin around that time or in early 2002. The general construction of the CVC will begin in the 2nd quarter of 2002, and as originally planned the CVC will be completed in the summer of 2005 with partial completion in support of the inaugural slated for January 2005 and completed by the summer of 2005.
Several additional projects are being considered in connection with the CVC project that were not included in the original $265 million budget. Those projects include the following: Project
Rough Estimate Related Potential Projects: Extend existing Capitol elevators to Service Level of CVC
$4,950,000 Additional connection to House Wing of Capitol ....
Temporary relocation of hookup for Elm site
Fit out of Expansion Space
Cell Phone Antenna in CVC
165,000 1,650,000 330,000
Temporary relocation of hookup for Elm site
Fit out of Expansion Space
Cell Phone Antenna in CVC
165,000 1,650,000 330,000
Supreme Court Chamber
CANNON GARAGE CONTRACT
Mr. TAYLOR. Let me go back to another question on the Cannon garage and ask if the penalty section we passed last session is in the Cannon garage contract?
Mr. HANTMAN. Yes, it is.
Mr. TAYLOR. I will yield for a moment to Mr. Moran and he can ask questions.
Mr. MORAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First all, let me get some things off my chest. One in particular, how many visitors come through the Capitol grounds in a year.
Mr. MORAN. Three to 4 million. It seems that we are always in some state of construction. Right now, I know down here just below the Capitol you have got the Botanic Garden in a complete state of construction. You have the Indian Museum in a state of construction. When they finish, there will be something else in a state of construction.
But at times there are opportunities to avoid that state of construction. The Botanic Garden, for example, for 6 months before any work whatsoever was done on the BG, you had a contractor come in and cut down all the trees, devastate the garden out here and put up a chain link fence around it and it was more than 6 months before any work was done. Well, that is 6 months, 3 or 4 million visitors, I think it would have been nice that they could have enjoyed that garden but instead somebody wanted to get the work done and get the money for the contract, I assume.
And your job is to make the Capitol as appealing as possible as visually appealing and as efficiently run. But I don't know why you would have let that contract out so far in advance of when it was necessary to devastate that garden and put up a chain link fence.
So I will let you answer that initially.
Mr. HANTMAN. Well, as far as the contract is concerned, we only let a contract—as I am sure you are aware, when there is a whole mobilization phase. The contractor begins to plan, the shop drawings are reviewed and approved before he gets on the site and he has a signed contract for a period of months. The time at the beginning of his work probably could have been watched more appropriately and squeezed every month out of it until he was actually ready to go on site and do the work. I cannot disagree with what
Mr. MORAN. Six months that a chain link fence with such a scorched earth policy for that park there. And a lot of people try to run through it and enjoy it, and of course they couldn't because you had the fence there, put up so far in advance of any work being done.
QUESTIONS FROM CHAIRMAN TAYLOR AND RESPONSES FOLLOW Question. Give us an update on the status of the Botanic Garden Project.
Response. The Renovation of the Conservatory of the United States Botanic Garden was originally scheduled for earlier construction completion in September 2000. The original schedule indicated that plants provided by the Contractor would also have been installed at that time. The installation of the rest of the plants was to be done by the Botanic Garden staff and that was scheduled to continue for another four to six months. A formal public opening would have occurred in March 2001, although scheduled tours and events would have been available from December 2000.
As the Committee is aware, this project renovates an historic and monumental building. Renovation projects, by their very nature, are subject to delays that are not encountered in new construction. Many unforeseen delays have been experienced during the course of this project. Delays were due to events such as unknown site conditions, including poor subsurface soil and asbestos that were not previously known to exist.
Progressive discovery of unforeseen structural conditions also complicated the construction sequence. For example, upon removal of the brick enclosure around the roof and trusses, excessive corrosion required the addition of brackets to ensure structural integrity of the roof adding time and cost. Application of state-of-the-art glazing system to an existing structure required extensive redesign to maintain the ical space is subterranean. The new mechanical and air conditioning systems installed below grade to maintain the historical look of the existing building required many days of additional on-site coordination including adjustments and redesigns to accommodate existing foundations and future plantings. When actual components are procured, then and only then, can the final coordination occur to fit the configured reconstructed spaces within the existing foundations. Working under the existing structure in tightly confined spaces also limited the manpower and size of equipment normally needed for this size project.
During this process, this agency continually urged the Contractor for greater coordination and the need for more qualified technical supervision. In addition, subcontractor manpower was noticeably deficient in all trades. Continued discussion on these issues proved pointless and a Cure Notice was issued in February 2001. This action brought about the needed changes in management and staffing required for a project of this complexity. With this revised staffing in place substantial completion of the construction is scheduled for September, 2001.
The reality of today's construction market is also a factor that cannot be ignored. Sub-contractors are finding it impossible to locate qualified tradesmen to staff their jobs. Often times, workers are pulled from one job to complete another at the expense of the first job. Larger projects are siphoning work force resources thereby creating problems for the smaller ones with less profitable price tags.
In addition to unforeseeable construction conditions and contractor management concerns that delayed this project, other design problems became apparent during construction. The associate architect engaged in the design of the renovation did not respond expeditiously to AOC requests for re-design. This office will follow up on these issues and proceed with any claim that may be necessary.
The Botanic Garden Conservatory Renovation Project has included in its budget a 10% contingency. To date, the changes to the project fall within this contingency. It should be noted however, that this office has been placed on notice that the Contractor will pursue claims for additional money and time as a result of delays. We intend to vigorously defend the Government's rights in these issues and to minimize the impact on the project.
STATUS REPORTS WITH REFERENCE TO COMPLETION DELAYS
Date of transmittal letter
Period of report
1/11/00 December 1999
3/6/00 January 2000 4/3/00 NA
5/5/00 March 2000
5/25/00 April 2000 6/19/00 May 2000
First mention in report that there were problems and completion may be after the
contract completion date. Advised that Palm House and other areas would not be ready by September 2000. Letter to Chairman Bennett forwarding AOC's 4/3/00 response to Chairman Tay
lor's 3/21/00 letter on project status. This letter spelled out some of the problems that had been encountered and reiterated that the project would not be
complete by September 5, 2000. Advised that we directed Clark Construction to complete all areas but Palm House
and site work by 12/30/00 and those areas to be completed by 3/31/01. Reiterated dates form previous report. Transmittal letter explained changes to shade cloth system, fogging system and
deletion of the work in the two courtyards. Report reiterated dates from the pre
vious report Report advised that contractor had indicated that all work may not be done by 31
31/01. Advised that Cure Notice had been issued and planning for a September 2001 re
opening was underway. Report goes thru status and indicates that pulblic opening is being targeted for
10/10/00 September 2000
2/27/01 January 2001
4/30/01 April 2001
STATUS OF NATIONAL GARDEN PROJECT
Conservatory with the National Garden? What is the status of the National Garden Project?
Response. The U.S. Botanic Garden and the NationalGarden have been designed to function as a continual garden experience, all part of the U.S. Botanic Garden. The large doors in the East Gallery of the Conservatory will open to serve as the main entrance into the National Garden.
Design is 100% complete.
Agreement Between National Fund and AOC is currently being reviewed and is scheduled to be signed in July 2001. The agreement will address:
How the project will be implemented
Understanding if additional funds are required
CUSTODIAL STAFF Mr. MORAN. The custodial staff, on any given night very rarely are there more than 75 on duty it would seem. You have got another 20 or so during the day. But there are over 130 positions authorized. Is it absenteeism? Is it that they are unfilled? Because it puts greater strain on those people who do show up for work. I would like to know why do we not have a full complement of custodians?
Mr. MILEY. Basically, there are two reasons. One is the high rate of absenteeism that we experience, number one. And the second is we are recruiting-it seems like a continual recruiting process. Right now we have 26 FTEs that we are recruiting for within the custodial and labor forces. They are not all night, but 13 of them are night custodians.
Mr. MORAN. What do they pay?
Mr. MORAN. Ten to 11 dollars an hour. So you are recruiting for them now. How long have you had that number?
Mr. MILEY. We have been well, probably 4 or 5 months.
Mr. MILEY. And again there are always a certain number of retirements. It is almost an ongoing basis.
Mr. MORAN. What percentage would you say are women?
Mr. MORAN. Virtually all of them are women and you pay 10 or 11 dollars an hour. They work during the evening. But because you have got such high absenteeism, I suppose those that do come to work have more work to do. If you have 24 unfilled positions, then those who are showing up have to do a lot more work than they would be normally expected to do?
Mr. MILEY. Right now we are experiencing some of that; however, we have built into our staffing levels a certain number for absenteeism. We have 25 FTEs that are built in for people who are not there. For instance
Mr. MORAN. You are figuring a 10 percent normal absentee rate.
Mr. MILEY. You have to consider the annual leave and sick leave of people as well as training. There is a lot of mandatory training, and so forth. So if you figure the total absenteeism, it definitely exceeds 10 percent.
We have I think the number of minimum work slots on that
another 25 positions that are for backup or fill in, what we call "swing” to cover absenteeism. And right now we have on board, not counting supervisors now, just talking about the workers, we have 101 workers on staff and recruits out for 13.
So with the 101 on board, right now my complement, nightly complement, varies from 75 to 85, 86. It is very rare that we ever have 87 or so. Hopefully, when we get these 13 on board, and they are in process right now—I mean they have been advertised. People have been interviewed. We are doing background checks right now. So hopefully in the very near future that problem will be taken care of.
CUSTODIAL PROMOTION OPPORTUNITIES
Mr. MORAN. Is there any promotional opportunity?
Mr. MILEY. Any position that we have in the organization, they are eligible to apply for. Now as far as promotion within the custodial force, there is one level of custodial worker. I will say many of them have been promoted into other positions in the organization. In my office, I have several service officers who have come up through the ranks.
Mr. MORAN. I think Mr. Hoyer may want to have some followup questions on that subject. Go ahead.
Mr. MILEY. In addition to that, we have the positions that we have created that we call AMP
Mr. MORAN. The what?
Mr. MILEY. The AMP, Architects Upward Mobility Positions, that we are creating to bring some of the employees out of the lower levels into positions. We have right now seven positions that we have brought from the labor or custodial workforce into the trades, where there is areas of progression available.
[The following question from Chairman Taylor and response follows:]
CUSTODIAL SERVICES Question. What is the current level of custodial services in House Office Buildings? Last year we provided $400,000 for Contracting Daytime Cleaning of public areas and restrooms in House Office Buildings. What has been done with these funds?
Response. The cleaning of offices, hearing rooms, meeting rooms and public spaces in the House Office Buildings is under the purview of Superintendent of the House Office Buildings. Within the Superintendent's organization there is a staff of custodians and laborers to perform all routine cleaning during non-office hours. Recycling materials are collected during the evening by a dedicated crew of recycling workers.
During day-time hours, the care of public areas, including public restrooms, is also performed by custodians and laborers. Very recently, these forces have been supplemented through contractual services with funding provided in the FY 2001 Appropriations act. The contractor is responsible for day-time policing of women's restrooms in the Rayburn Building. This effort consists of restocking supplies, emptying trash containers, and removal of any trash on the floors. Emergency cleaning is performed, if necessary.
În an effort to increase the level of cleaning, the Superintendent has recently implemented the following initiatives:
Increased Floor MaintenanceNight laborers are coming in 4 hours early on overtime Monday thru Friday and working 12 hours on Saturday in an effort to get all floors in the three main buildings stripped and waxed.
Increased Policing of all Building Entrances-All building entrances are policed