Capitol Visitor Center:
Update on Status of Project's Schedule and Cost as of October 31, 2007
GAO-08-227T: Published: Nov 14, 2007. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 2007.
Today's testimony will focus on (1) the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) construction progress since the last CVC hearing on September 25, 2007, and (2) the project's expected cost at completion and funding status. Today's remarks are based on our review of schedules and financial reports for the CVC project and related records maintained by AOC and its construction management contractor, Gilbane Building Company; our observations on the progress of work at the CVC construction site; and our discussions with the CVC team (AOC and its major CVC contractors), AOC's Chief Fire Marshal, and representatives from the U.S. Capitol Police. We also reviewed AOC's construction management contractor's periodic schedule assessments, potential change order log, and weekly reports on construction progress. In addition, we reviewed the contract modifications made to date.
Since the September 25, 2007, CVC hearing, the project's construction has progressed, and AOC is still anticipating a November 2008 opening date. In addition, AOC is soliciting contractor support to assist with fire alarm acceptance testing and is also considering using other employees to assist with fire alarm testing. However, risks to the project's schedule remain, including delays in procuring fire alarm testing assistance and in completing the fire alarm testing. AOC's current estimate of the cost to complete the CVC project's construction, reported at the September 25, 2007 hearing, is about $621 million. We believe this estimate is reasonable, provided there are no unusual delays. To date, about $556.2 million has been approved for CVC construction, and AOC has $6 million more in fiscal year 2007 CVC appropriations that it plans to use for construction after it obtains congressional approval to obligate these funds. For fiscal year 2008, AOC has requested $20 million for CVC construction and believes that it may need another $39 million.