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CVC Opening Pushed Back Again

At today’s monthly Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the progress of the Capitol Visitors Center project, Architect of the Capitol Alan Hantman once again pushed back the projected opening date for the new facility, this time to December 2006.

While Hantman said the project contractors still remain optimistic about completing construction work by September 2006, commissioning concerns, such as testing and certifying fire safety systems in the new facility, will account for the additional three-month delay.

But representatives from the Government Accountability Office, who have been working with the Appropriations subcommittee on the legislative branch to monitor progress on the CVC were skeptical of even a late-2006 opening. GAO officials testified that a spring or even summer 2007 opening was much more likely due to continued delays and the unlikelihood that CVC managers will be able to make up time already lost in meeting project milestones.

“I have no doubt about the quality of the work that is being done,” subcommittee Chairman Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) said to Hantman this morning. “I just remain concerned that things have been put off that could have been addressed earlier. … Many of GAO’s concerns continue to come to fruition.”

— John McArdle