Capitol Visitor Center:

Construction Expected to Be Completed within Current Budget Estimate

GAO-09-925T: Published: Jul 23, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2009.

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This testimony focuses on (1) the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) construction progress since the last Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) hearing on September 24, 2008, 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; and our discussions with AOC.

On December 2, 2008, the CVC opened, as discussed at the Subcommittee's September 2008 CVC hearing. Since the opening, AOC and its contractors have worked to complete punch list items and have reduced their number from about 3,000 at the time of the last CVC hearing to fewer than 300 as of July 20, 2009. In addition, AOC and its contractors have continued to work to reduce the number of open (outstanding) proposed change orders (PCO),3 and the number of open orders has declined since our last statement. AOC's current estimate of the cost to complete the CVC project's construction, first reported in September 2007, remains about $621 million. To date, about $607 million has been approved for CVC construction. In addition, AOC has $11 million more in fiscal year 2009 CVC appropriations that it may use for construction after it obtains congressional approval to obligate these funds.

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