The Department of Homeland Security’s New HQ is an Abandoned Insane Asylum
Homeland Security operating without a real home (Los Angeles Times):
Five miles southeast of the gleaming Capitol dome, on a scenic bluff overlooking the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, the future office of the secretary of Homeland Security sits boarded up and abandoned.
Four years ago, U.S. officials announced plans to renovate the dilapidated, castle-like structure —opened in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane — to anchor Washington’s largest construction project since the Pentagon was built 70 years ago.
The goal was to unite on a single campus the 22 agencies that were stitched together to form the Department of Homeland Security after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
But the $3.4-billion headquarters project stalled as Congress tried to cut the federal deficit. Lawmakers debated this month whether the nation could afford such a massive home-improvement project, and the House has voted to eliminate the funding in next year’s budget.
DHS holds fast to St. Elizabeths HQ plan (Federal News Radio):
Funding gaps and construction delays aren’t swaying the Homeland Security Department from its goal of consolidating most of its Washington-based facilities on the campus of the former St. Elizabeth’s hospital.
“The reduction in the funding stream has impacted our original plans,” said DHS chief administrative officer Don Bathurst. Speaking of the future steps in the project, he said, “We’re going to try to bring those on as quickly as fiscally allowable.”
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