District of Columbia:

Status of the New Convention Center Project

GAO-02-182R: Published: Nov 30, 2001. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2001.

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Jeanette M. Franzel
(202) 512-9471


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The Washington Convention Center Authority will build, maintain, and operate the new convention center as well as maintain and operate the existing convention center. This report reviews (1) the status of the new convention center project as of July 2001 and (2) the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) agreement. The revised GMP has not yet been set because WCCA and the construction manager haven't agreed on the project schedule and the estimated cost of pending charges. The GMP--which covers most of the hard costs of actual construction, such as masonry, carpentry, and metals, but excludes soft-cost items--is based on a set of agreed-upon assumptions about work quantities and unit costs of performing such work. The GMP amount of $500.6 million will be adjusted as the project progresses. As of July 2001, WCAA's monthly report estimates total construction costs at $778.2 million, including a $14.6 million contingency amount as a cushion against unforeseen future increases. This represents a nine-percent increase over the original estimate of $714 million. WCCA included a project contingency of $30.5 million in the September 1998 cost estimate. The estimated project cost of $778.2 million as of July 2001 does not include ongoing negotiations between WCCA and the construction manager regarding their cost estimates for pending changes and different estimates for the substantial and final completion dates of the new convention center. GAO summarized this report in testimony before Congress; see District of Columbia: Status of the New Convention Center Project, by Jeanette M. Franzel, Acting Director for Financial Management and Assurance, before the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia, House Committee on Government Reform. GAO-02-335T, Jan. 18 (seven pages).

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