This morning was the groundbreaking for the new consolidated headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard at the West Campus of St. Elizabeths in Ward 8. In attendance were Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Senator Liberman, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Councilman Barry, and GSA Administrator Paul F. Prouty.
It was raining, but the boarded-up campus was alive with U.S.-manufactured government vehicles and the excitement that this. is. finally. being. built!
local and federal leadership breaks ground on Homeland Security campus
Senator Joseph Lieberman, I - Connecticut
Napolitano and Norton talk with the news media
Overall it was a great event. All the public officials spoke at the podium, each highlighting different benefits and challenges associated with bringing the mega-project to Ward 8:
- Lieberman connected DHS' history with that of the Roosevelt's Pentagon, and noted that this is the largest building project (aside from Eisenhower's highways, I assume) since the Pentagon.
- Napolitano was excited to have a consolidated headquarters - and expressed gratitude for how much simpler holding meetings and bringing connectivity and community to the Department will be.
- CM Barry highlighted the project's importance to Ward 8 and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the new HQ. He called attention to the hardships associated with living and working in Ward 8, but, citing Psalm 30:5, said that "We could go on and on about the weeping. But this is the morning for Ward 8."
the first building - Coast Guard - viewed from the River
Exciting times. Ward 8 is on the rise.