President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget proposal will include $1.4 billion in for the FBI headquarters project, according to a General Services Administration announcement on Friday.
The project, which plans construction for a new, fully consolidated FBI headquarters in Maryland or Virginia, would be fully funded through the $1.4 billion request along with another $390 million secured in 2016 appropriations and proceeds from the sale of the FBI’s current headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building.
“The consolidated headquarters facility will allow the FBI to perform its critical national security, intelligence, and law enforcement missions in a new modern and secure facility.” said Bill Dowd, project executive for GSA’s Public Buildings Service, in a release. “We appreciate Congress’ support of the project through the inclusion of $390 million in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus.”
Senators and representatives from Maryland applauded the Obama administration’s decision to include the funding stating in a release that the budget request ensures FBI employees have the resources they need to “secure the homeland.”
“This is great news for both the new FBI headquarters and the security of our nation.” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md), vice chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee. “I’ve fought tooth and nail for the men and women of the FBI, working to secure a $390 million significant down-payment in the FY16 funding bill … I’ll work my earrings off to put the funds in the federal checkbook.”
The project will bring together FBI headquarters functions currently housed at the J. Edgar Hoover Federal building, as well as those dispersed at multiple locations across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Construction plans call for a 2.1 million square foot facility.
The funding request comes as the project enters phase II of its request for proposals that outline what GSA and FBI are looking for, how they will evaluate the bids and the FBI’s requirements for the project.
“I am pleased to see this progress being made.” said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md. ). “The FBI is critically important to protecting the security and safety of our country and I applaud the President for including federal funding that will help the FBI continue to carry out its mission.”
GSA notified a short list of bidders that have been selected to participate in Phase II in October. Bidders will submit proposals to construct the consolidated FBI headquarters in exchange for the J. Edgar Hoover Federal building.
The FBI headquarters consolidation project is part of GSA’s ongoing effort to meet the Obama administration’s reduce the footprint and operational efficiency goals by consolidating federal agencies into owned government space and getting underperforming federal facilities off of the government’s books.
The new FBI headquarters will be home to 11,000 jobs. According to a Maryland state report, approximately 40 percent of the FBI’s employees at the current headquarters already live in Maryland.