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Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager
Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, Deputy Asst. Sec. of Def. for Public Affairs
Terry Mitchell, chief, Audiovisual Division, Office of ASD PA
The Pentagon
Arlington, Virginia
September 15, 2001
Con't

QUESTION: Where are their headquarters?

EVEY: They are headquartered in Colorado.

QUESTION: Where?

QUESTION: Where in Colorado?

EVEY: I think it's Denver.

QUESTION: Is the 145 million a subset of --

EVEY: Excuse me -- however, they have local offices in Chantilly. They have a local -- that's a regional office for them in Chantilly.

QUESTION: The 145 is a subset of 758? It wouldn't come on top of it?

EVEY: It's not on top of it. It's a subset, that's correct.

QUESTION: Are they a public firm, do they trade publicly, do you know? Is it a public firm?

EVEY: I really don't know, sir, I'm sorry.

QUESTION: How much was the wedge one contract for?

EVEY: The wedge one finally totaled about $258 million.

QUESTION: How long did it take to do the construction of wedge one?

EVEY: It took three years to do wedge one.

QUESTION: And who did that?

EVEY: Actually it took longer to do wedge one. It took us two years to get the 5,000 people out.

QUESTION: But that doesn't count.

EVEY: It's not as bad as it sounds, because to move the 5,000 people out, they had to go out and lease a million square feet of office space in the local area, and first renovate that million square feet of office space to move them into, so that they could then start on wedge one. So it's --

QUESTION: Do you anticipate -- excuse me -- do you anticipate that rebuilding wedge one would cost in that same range, or a little bit more considering the --

EVEY: I can't give you a really good estimate on that yet. You know, we don't really have sufficient access to this area to go in and start doing real tight estimates.

QUESTION: But is that a number we can use as a rough cost of it?

EVEY: I would expect that the rebuilding of wedge one would probably not cost more than that. Presuming that the amount of work that is required is reduced in some substantial way, because there are areas where we believe the damage is minimal.

QUESTION: What are the costs of wedge two --

QUESTION: Can you clarify something, sir, when you say all that, because part of it's one wedge and part of it is another wedge? Basically the broadest ball park figure in your own mind from your experience with this building of basically putting the space back together.

EVEY: It will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars.

QUESTION: More than five? (Laughter.)

EVEY: It will cost us hundreds of millions. I know there were some discussion yesterday: Would it cost $10 million? It will cost a lot of money, okay? But I can't right now in good faith try to estimate what that amount is. We simply don't have enough information.

QUESTION: (Off mike) -- I mean, years? You know, we've asked about two -- a couple of years? Five years?

EVEY: In my expectation, based on our experience in wedge one, is that it will take us a considerable period of time. It might take us a couple of years to do this, okay?

I will say this: We will do it as quickly as we can, and we will do it as economically as we can.

QUESTION: Because this building is a historic landmark, is there any kind of special challenge in restoring the exterior with that kind of limestone?

EVEY: Interestingly, it is my understanding that the individual who runs the quarry in Indiana where we have bought the limestone for some of the projects we have done already -- for instance, most of you here in the building are familiar with the South Terrace bridges -- those are faced in limestone. That limestone came from the same quarry that the original limestone that is on the building came from. It's my understanding that the individual who now is somewhat elderly, who is the foreman on the job for cutting that limestone, as a teenager worked at the Pentagon installing the limestone in the original Pentagon.

QUESTION: (Off mike) --

QUESTION: So you anticipate going to the same quarry -- just to make sure I didn't miss --

EVEY: To try to make sure it is a match of limestone.

QUESTION: You will go to the same original quarry?

EVEY: That would be our expectation.

QUESTION: In the renovation that you were going to do -- are there any lessons that you've learned from -- do you expect to change in any way from working on wedge one because of what you have seen after this impact?

EVEY: Let me -- can I -- hold that for just a second, try to get through this, and they'll we'll try to get --

QUESTION: One contractor name?

EVEY: Yeah. Wedge one is a company called AMEC, A-M-E-C. A-M-E-C.

QUESTION: That was not a design-build contractor?

EVEY: No, that was what you call design-bid-build.

QUESTION: Okay. Are they local, or --

EVEY: Actually their parent company is in England but they have a very large presence in the United States. They do construction throughout the United States. It's a very large company.

QUESTION: Your 758 figure would include the Wedge 1 costs, correct?

EVEY: No, ma'am. 758 is wedges two through five.

QUESTION: Wedges two through five.

EVEY: Yes ma'am. Let me -- let me, if I can, just try to get through this, and then I'll -- I'll just answer all your questions. Okay.

What I wanted to do was give you some idea of the kinds of things that we've done in the Pentagon renovation to try support building safety and building security. Okay.

So, the first is the remote delivery facility, that 250,000 square foot facility that you see on the north end of the building, okay. The purpose for that facility is to move truck deliveries, which used to come right into the south end of the Pentagon -- 18- wheelers used to back up inside the building, on the loop itself to unload, which is clearly a tremendous threat -- to move all those trucks away from the building, have them deliver at the remote delivery facility. That facility has been up and operational for almost exactly one year. There have already been 64,000 deliveries made at that facility, so it's a very large and very busy facility. Once a truck enters that facility, you have bomb-sniffing dogs that check out the truck. They check with mirrors underneath the chassis. Everything that comes into the building is x-rayed through very large, pallet-sized x-ray machines. And after it's cleared all those things, it does not again leave a cleared area. It goes through a tunnel into the Pentagon -- something we call "the connector." Okay. That facility is already complete and it's been in place and operational for about a year.

Secondly, we have an arrow here. This the Metro entrance facility. It's shown as being complete, but actually it's under construction. Okay. Most of you are familiar with that. That's where the Metro train comes into the building. There's a bus loop above it. We are moving the bus loop away from the building.

And I think it's worth mentioning that at the point in time that we started planning this and discussing this plan locally, we were severely criticized, and in fact, even to some extent ridiculed. One particular quote that sticks with me is somebody thought that this was kind of a stupid thing to do, and made the comment that, don't you know that terrorists don't arrive on busses. And I think we've all learned that terrorists arrive on busses. They arrive in planes. And they arrive in all kinds of inconvenient manners. Clearly, this was something we had to do to help protect not only the building but also the people that use that mass transportation system. To put it in perspective, busses come within nine feet of this building and the current Metro entrance facility. The crater at Kobar Towers was 150 feet in diameter. We think the need to move those buses away from this building is clear.

The south terrace bridges also provide an opportunity to move vehicular traffic away from the face of the building, and keep any potential from blast threat as far away from the building as possible.

We've done a replacement of the exterior high-pressure water lines. And you might think that that doesn't sound like much of a safety or security improvement, but I will remind you that the last time that we had a significant fire in the Pentagon happened to be the day that the aircraft were going in for their first air strikes on Desert Storm.

At that point in time, a fire broke out in the basement of the Pentagon. The Arlington County Fire Department, the same fire department that responded this week responded to that fire. When they hooked the hoses up to the fire station and turned on the water, the pipes blew out. Nine million gallons of water flowed into the basement of the Pentagon. The Air Force Operations Center came within a few inches of going off-line. Those inches were inches of water depth. Had it gone up only a few more inches, those guys would have gone off-line as the aircraft were going in on their initial strikes.

So, that may not sound like much, but in order to fight fires like you just saw happen here, you have to have faith that when you turn on the hose, water comes out the end.

Yes sir?

QUESTION: I'm sorry -- I just wanted to ask you to stay a little closer to the --

EVEY: Okay. Redundant exterior communications -- we have provided additional routes of communication out of the building so that should there be some terrorist action or something else that cuts one of our routes of communication, they can be replaced by others.

We are putting in blast resistant windows concurrent with the renovation as we go around the building. We're putting in, where we don't use blast resistant windows, tempered glass windows that should they fragment, fragment into tiny little pieces, not great shards that fly for a distance.

QUESTION: Some people have said the mylar that's on older windows has helped them, in the older sections.

EVEY: Yes ma'am.

QUESTION: But it hasn't been put along the press room. Do you know any reason why -- (laughter) --

EVEY: Ma'am, I assure you, I couldn't talk to that. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Do you think it will be now, because a lot of people in the press office work with --

EVEY: I don't know --

EVEY: I don't install the mylar, so I wouldn't --

QUIGLEY: Can I -- can I interrupt for a second?

EVEY: Yes sir.

QUIGLEY: Let me -- let me address that. You get a little ancillary blast protection from the mylar . That's not its principle purpose.

QUESTION: Right.

QUIGLEY: It's -- it's almost coincidental. The principle purpose is to stop electronic and acoustic eavesdropping and for -- we're going to assume that there's no classified, national security information that's in the press window section. So, in all other offices in the building, that wouldn't be true. So, it minimizes the opportunity for a simple, effective acoustic eavesdropping. And that's -- yes, you get a little bit of blast protection, but -- but that's not its real purpose.

QUESTION: Right. But some people say it has -- that they really felt that that helped a lot.

EVEY: We've already talked about the steel reinforcements in the exterior wall. That's again something that we'll do concurrent with the renovations as we go around the building, the kevlar cloth, the same thing. We've put in an extensive monitoring and control system that maintains the status and awareness throughout the building from something else that we've built, which is the Building Operations and Control Center, okay. Those two things together provide a tremendous amount of knowledge to people at once centralized location, so they can control building operations.

Fire sprinklers. Interestingly, you know, there was a fire that raged through wedge two, the unrenovated area. If you look at wedge one, except in those areas where it was clearly fueled by jet fuel, the fire, when it tried to spread into other wedge one areas, was knocked down immediately by the fire sprinklers. There was virtually no spread whatsoever, so we saw a tremendous beneficial effect from that.

Automatic fire doors are something else that we put in that will help assist people should there be fires. Another is a general compliance with fire safety codes and Americans with Disability Act compliance.

The existing Pentagon is not compliant with fire safety codes. The Pentagon is not compliant with any code. The last time the building was compliant with the national electric code, for instance, is 1953. So, clearly, we have a lot to work in this area, among which are fire safety and other code compliance activities that will assist people and help ensure they aren't unnecessarily injured.

Yes ma'am.

QUESTION: Sir, was it Oklahoma City or Khobar Towers or some other tangible event that promoted these security improvements?

EVEY: No, I don't think I could point to any one of those things and say that's what did it. I think, clearly, everyone has at some point in time become aware that our world over the past years has changed in very dramatic ways, and we thought it was a prudent thing to do to recognize that change and take appropriate steps.

QUESTION: Is there a year that you can put to this when these decisions were beginning at least being made?

EVEY: The decisions for us were being made at about the point in time that we started wedge one, which was a little bit over three years ago.

QUESTION: Could I ask you just one thing? I don't know if you made this clear. There's $758 million you estimated wedges two through five?

EVEY: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: Does that include the hundreds of millions you're talking about in repairs?

EVEY: No, sir.

QUESTION: That doesn't?

EVEY: No, that was --

QUESTION: That would be on top.

EVEY: That would be on top. That's correct, sir. I have a list here of the wedge one and the wedge two through five contractors and subcontractors. I'll say, over here on the AMEC side, many of these companies are very involved out there right now supporting recovery activities, et cetera. The response from the construction industry in general has been overwhelming and tremendously positive.

And that concludes my briefing. Fire away.

QUESTION: What have you missed? What security concerns are there still out there that you don't think that this addresses? Are you concerned about plane flyovers at the Pentagon? Are you concerned about the existence of having a Metro come in under this building, to come in so close to this building? Can you speak to that?

EVEY: Let me say, we do continual assessments of what we think are probable risks, and then we try to do what we can to defeat them. Let me say, just as a general comment, that, I mean, if you had a clean sheet of paper and you were going to select the location for the Pentagon, you would probably try to find a place that didn't have heavily-traveled roads as closely as we have here, et cetera. Those are clearly threats that we have to deal with, and they provide a challenge to us. All those things that you list are things that we look at and try to, to the best of our ability, try to accommodate.

QUESTION: If it were up to you, would you move the military headquarters of the country?

EVEY: That's not up to me. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: You said you'd address it in a general way, but can you address it also in a more specific way? I think the question addressed a few specific concerns about planes flying over, about the Metro.

EVEY: We work with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers and other organizations to assess threats and then develop what we think are appropriate responses to those threats. Okay, let me make the point: No building can be perfectly safe. We all know that. No building can be blast-proof. I've heard some people refer to the windows as blast-proof windows. There's no such thing as blast-proof windows and there's no such thing as a blast-proof facility. It can't be built.

What you can do is take reasonable and prudent measures. Now, we looked at things like the characteristics of the blast to which the building might be subjected in a terrorist event. Those blasts have various characteristics, depending on the size of the blast, its proximity, et cetera. There are things -- strike intensity, strike duration, things like that.

In fact, the blast-resistant windows that are on A ring and the blast-resistant windows that are on E ring are of a different composition, because our expectation is that they would be exposed to a different type of blast event. You just do the best job you can of anticipating what those things might be and then trying to deal with them.

QUESTION: Would it be reasonable and prudent to permanently close Reagan National Airport?

EVEY: That falls in the category of what I call the cosmic questions. (Laughter.) I build the building. I don't deal with those. (Laughs.)

QUESTION: Would it be cheaper to build a new Pentagon elsewhere than to renovate this one?

EVEY: That's an interesting question. In fact, I came on the program about four years ago, and one of the first things that I did when I got on the program was have my people do an estimate of what it would cost to replace this building for another location. We took it to a hypothetical location, Fort Belvoir, and built a building of identical size with a different shape -- this is a fully inefficient shape for some things -- and looked at the cost.

Let me first say, if you're going to build this building somewhere else, it's real hard to find a place that is in close proximity to Washington DC, has space for 10,300 parking spaces, has a Metro that comes up close to the building -- it doesn't come underneath, but it comes close to the building; you know, has an intermodal transportation system already available, et cetera. And there aren't many buildings around here that have those characteristics.

So what we looked at was Fort Belvoir. The initial analysis of that suggested to us that the actual construction of the building proper, constructing a building out there, would be somewhat cheaper than renovating the Pentagon. However, the building has 25,000 employees. They have to get to work each day.

So we looked at what the cost would be to then extend a Metro line out to Fort Belvoir to serve that new Pentagon. I think the cost of the Metro -- it's been a while since we looked it up; it's been three or four years -- but that was something like $100 million a mile. Plus you have to have a road network to support that, and on and on.

After we got through adding up all those additional costs, plus recognizing the fact that the Pentagon has 2,000 tons of asbestos in each wedge, it does have lead-based paint, it does have mercury, it does have PCBs, and that we can't just lock the doors and leave -- you still have to, if you're going to do nothing more than abandon the building, you have to remediate all that stuff, and there's a cost to that as well.

When we got through looking at all those things, there was no strong economic argument for going to another location.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) -- that study done, and how far is it to Fort Belvoir?

EVEY: It is -- we did it about three and a half years ago; three, three and a half years ago. And your real question, I think, is how far is Fort Belvoir from the end of the final existing Metro station.

QUESTION: How far from Washington?

EVEY: I think it's probably about 20 miles.

QUESTION: What about the buses that come in here daily? Will they be allowed to come in?

EVEY: Our plan is to open the first phase, and that is the new bus loop of our new Metro entrance facility, by Thanksgiving. So at the end of November, we'll have the new bus loop completed, and the buses will be coming into that area. Now, also as part of that project, we have --

QUESTION: (Inaudible) -- in the meantime?

EVEY: In the meantime, that's not my decision. As far as I know, there are no plans to change that. But that's not my decision. That's a building operations decision.

QUESTION: Can you tell me --

QUESTION: I asked you before about the aircraft landing in the Pentagon? Has that given you any new information which you will then take on board for the rest of your renovation, or do you think you got right, according to this --

EVEY: I think it's certainly something we're going to look at and see whether or not there are other things that we can do that might provide additional security at the building. But that's a constant, ongoing process.

QUESTION: Are you leasing offices to provide space for personnel? And, if so, how many and where at?

EVEY: Yes, we are -- first, we've been leasing buildings for an extended period of time as what we call swing space. That's where we moved the people who used to live in wedge one. For the most part, those buildings are fairly close by, okay. We've leased almost a million square feet of space to support that effort, because we were moving a million square feet of people out of the building.

We now have already leased -- my office didn't do it; it was done by Washington Headquarters Services, but we're working with them in this project. We've leased another 800,000 square feet of office space already since this incident occurred, and we have availability of another 1 million square feet of office space, should we need to lease that as well. So, if necessary, we can bring on additional building space through lease to support any of the activities that we contemplate would be necessary.

QUESTION: Excuse me if this was asked already, but have you said when you'd like to start rebuilding and when you would start renovation on wedge two?

EVEY: What time is it?

QUESTION: Literally? On both.

EVEY: Absolutely. We want to start as soon as possible. Clearly there are recovery activities underway, and clearly we can't do anything to begin the rebuilding of this building and the continued renovation of this building until debris, material, et cetera, have been removed; the building has to been made safe through shoring and support.

QUESTION: How much longer might that be?

EVEY: To some extent, we are limited in being maximally effective in terms of removing materials because recovery activities are underway. And I don't know how much longer that would take. Once we have full access to that site, our expectation is removal of the debris and all that will go pretty quickly. In fact, we're moving our largest crane on site out there probably as we speak to start assisting in that retrieval process.

QUESTION: Will it be a week, two weeks, a month?

EVEY: Oh, I would think a month probably will have that stuff done.

QUESTION: It should take about a month from now.

EVEY: That would be my guess at this point, sir.

QUESTION: I realize that you can't give a full and complete estimate of how much this is going to cost, but do you know where the money is going to come from? Do you know if a separate allocation from Congress is going to be needed? Do you know if you'll be able to work within the existing budget and budget structure to find this money?

EVEY: The way -- first let me make the point. It's something that we always remain aware of. We all know where the money ultimately comes from. It comes from the taxpayer of the United States. And that's something that we always have in mind in this renovation.

And let me make a little aside. Sorry. (Laughs.) You get the paid political announcements here, okay? When we do this job, if you go into what we renovate in this building, I'll challenge you: Walk down any corridor, open any door, walk in any room and talk to any customer. We do good work. We do it efficiently, we do it effectively, and we do it economically. You will not find one square inch of mahogany. You will not find one square inch walnut. You will not find anything that's gold-plated in this project anywhere. We are doing a good and efficient and effective job, and we are good shepherds of the taxpayers' money.

QUESTION: But that wasn't the answer to the question at all.

EVEY: (Laughs.) I know, but you gave me an opening.

QUESTION: That was lovely. It was a lovely speech. But let's get back to where the money is going to come from. Are you going to need an extra supplemental from Congress?

EVEY: Okay. The way the Pentagon renovation is funded is through a revolving fund within this building. The way the revolving fund is funded is that the tenants within the building pay into that fund to pay for things like security services, building maintenance and Pentagon renovation.

It's my understanding, but it's just my understanding -- and I hope you understand I've been busy doing a lot of things other than worrying about that problem -- but it is my understanding that the Congress is looking at the possibility of a supplemental that they feed directly into that revolving fund. But that's my understanding.

QUESTION: But that's not out of the $20 billion or the $40 billion pot that they just passed?

EVEY: I can't comment. I don't know where that would be coming from. I've not followed that that closely.

QUESTION: Could we revisit for a minute how many people might have been in wedge one and wedge two when the airplane hit?

EVEY: If wedge one and wedge two were fully populated, okay, there would be about 10,000 people in there.

QUESTION: What was the actual? An estimate.

EVEY: Yeah, an estimate.

QUESTION: Wedge two, you say the people were moving out.

EVEY: That's correct, sir.

QUESTION: Was wedge two empty?

EVEY: Wedge two was not totally empty. Let me put it in perspective for you. Eighty-five percent of the people wedge two move into wedge one. So, while we were vacating wedge two, they are moving in to and populating wedge one.

QUESTION: Uh-huh.

EVEY: Okay. So, 15 percent of the people moved out of wedge two into some other location, okay. So, you didn't have a full complement of people in wedge one. It was not fully populated. But it was -- it was getting close, okay. It was to be fully populated by the end of October. My guess it was probably about -- probably about 80 percent, okay. So --

QUESTION: So, about 4,000 people?

EVEY: Actually, wedge one is a little light on people because it has some facilities we're moving in there that have a lot of acreage but not many people -- like the library, which is very large, okay. It was actually going to have around 4,500 people in it, a little short. So, my guess is probably nearer to 3,500 people.

QUESTION: So was wedge two mostly vacated, or to what degree was it vacated?

EVEY: Wedge two was probably about -- my guess is about 60 or 70 percent vacated.

QUESTION: So, you estimate that 3,500 people were in wedge one when this happened, or could have been?

EVEY: Could have been. Could have been.

QUESTION: So, as a percentage, the casualties seem to be reasonably light, although, of course, each one is significant.

EVEY: I think that the fact that they happened to hit an area that we had built so sturdily was a wonderful gift.

QUESTION: In a perverse way.

EVEY: In a perverse way.

Staff: Are we done?

QUESTION: Yeah. Thank you.

Thank you.

END