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Highlights

We are pleased to assist the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch in monitoring progress on the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) project. Our remarks will focus on (1) the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) construction progress and problems since the Subcommittee's September 21, 2006, hearing and their impact on the project's schedule; and (2) the project's expected cost at completion and funding situation. As part of this discussion, we will address a number of key challenges and risks that continue to face the project as well as actions AOC has recently taken, and plans or needs to take, to meet its currently scheduled completion date.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Architect of the Capitol 1. To minimize the risks associated with the CVC's HVAC system and the government's ability to get the CVC completed within the current schedule and cost estimates and to give Congress and us greater confidence in the CVC team's project schedules from this point forward, the Architect of the Capitol should work with the rest of the CVC team to ensure that the schedule for completing and commissioning the HVAC system is realistic, that all the work necessary for the proper and safe functioning of the HVAC system--including work in the spaces the air handling units are to serve--is completed in a timely, well-coordinated manner, and that sufficient resources will be available to meet the schedule without creating a trade-stacking problem.
Closed - Implemented
AOC has focused on the HVAC system through their weekly mechanical, electrical and plumbing meetings; bi-weekly commissioning meetings; and weekly schedule meetings. The HVAC commissioning meetings have started and they are close to their proposed schedule. AOC has addressed the need for adequate resources in these various meetings.
Architect of the Capitol 2. To minimize the risks associated with the CVC's HVAC system and the government's ability to get the CVC completed within the current schedule and cost estimates and to give Congress and us greater confidence in the CVC team's project schedules from this point forward, the Architect of the Capitol should carefully consider the contractual remedies available to AOC to complete all tasks that must precede the start and completion of final acceptance testing of the CVC's fire protection and life safety systems within the time necessary to meet the estimated fall 2007 project completion time frame.
Closed - Implemented
AOC has established a substantial completion date for the CVC and House and Senate expansion spaces of November 15, 2007. This date was agreed to by the contractor and a modification to the contract was signed by both parties in August 2007. The completion date does not include the final fire alarm test. AOC plans to complete the fire alarm testing by June 27, 2008.

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