Capitol Visitor Center:
Update on Status of Project's Schedule and Cost as of June 27, 2008
GAO-08-900T: Published: Jul 8, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 2008.
This testimony is 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) and AOC's Chief Fire Marshal. We also reviewed AOC's construction management contractor's periodic schedule assessments.
Since the May 22, 2008, CVC hearing, work on the project has moved forward, and despite issues in certain CVC and expansion space work, AOC still believes the fire alarm testing will be completed late next month and the project will be available to open in November 2008. According to AOC's construction management contractor, in dollar terms, the overall CVC project remains 99 percent complete.2 Some risks to the project's schedule remain in testing some components of the CVC's fire alarm system. Many punch list3 items also remain to be completed, and a steady number of proposed change orders have to be resolved. At this time, AOC does not expect the punch list items or the proposed change orders to affect the project's completion date. Since the last hearing, work on the project's current critical path,4 fire alarm acceptance testing, has continued, and AOC has taken steps to address other concerns. For example, the fire marshal has continued testing the building's smoke exhaust system. Although some issues have arisen during this testing, such as the potential need for additional or larger smoke exhaust fans for a portion of the building, no new significant issues have emerged. AOC still expects to receive a temporary certificate of occupancy for the project on or before July 31, 2008. In addition, the CVC team has continued to gradually reduce the number of punch list items, which we have identified as a concern at the last several hearings. According to AOC, the number of punch list items has been reduced from over 15,000 to about 4,700. Finally, AOC is developing plans to repair the damage to plaza pavers that we discussed at last month's hearing. AOC has determined that substantial rework of the plaza may be required and is planning the repairs to avoid interference with the CVC's opening and with inaugural activities. It is still not clear who will ultimately be financially responsible for the repairs, but we do not anticipate a need for additional appropriations to address this issue.