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Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Victoria Clarke
Lee Evey, manager, Pentagon Renovation Program
The Pentagon
Washington D.C.
October 2, 2001
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QUESTION: The Pakistani president yesterday was talking about a strike on Afghan targets as "inevitable". Was he speaking -- was he stating the obvious, or was he giving information that you would rather have been not have given?

CLARKE: You have to ask him.

Again, we're going to -- it is so sensitive and so clearly so sensitive that we cannot be in the business of -- I mean, we don't do it as a normal course of business around here. We certainly now can't be characterizing for other countries what they may or may not do or what their views may or may not be. The response has been very good, it has been very positive. We understand and appreciate those sensitivities. So we will try to let others speak for themselves.

Charlie.

QUESTION: Torie, aside from any specific plans that have or have not been made yet, wouldn't the U.S. military almost have to be involved in humanitarian airdrops to the Afghans?

CLARKE: Well, I don't think we should be talking about specifics at all. What we're doing right now is organizing and preparing for a wide range of contingencies. We are preparing and organizing ourselves to do what the president directs us to do. Humanitarian aid will be a part of that. But beyond that, we're not going to give too many details. And again, I think you all understand why.

QUESTION: Could you clarify? Did you say three-five-oh aircraft, or three-one-five?

CLARKE: To clarify again, I said "very approximately" --

QUESTION: Right --

CLARKE: -- three-five-oh. Approximately 350.

Yes.

QUESTION: Russia the other day signed an arms cooperation treaty with Iran. In fact, I think it might have been actually today. Given the U.S. position and Defense Department sensitivities before about Russian arms cooperation with Iran and Russia's newfound generosity to the U.S. in opening up its air bases for U.S. support, do you -- do you have a position about Russian and Iranian arms cooperation?

CLARKE: You know, I have not heard too much about that today, so I'll have to get back to you on that one.

And if we're okay here, I would love to bring up Mr. Evey to talk about the building update.

Okay. One question, and then we'll turn it over.

QUESTION: There are a number of former Soviet air bases in the northern part of Afghanistan --

CLARKE: I'm sorry. I missed the first part of your --

QUESTION: There are a number of former Soviet air bases in the northern part of Afghanistan that are controlled by the anti-Taliban forces, including in Feyzabad and Weygam. And I was wondering -- the last one once housed 1,000 Soviet troops. Are there any airfields that are being considered -- are these airfields being considered for use by the allied forces?

CLARKE: We sure wouldn't talk about it from up here.

Okay. Thank you very much, you guys. Mr. Evey?

EVEY: I'm Lee Evey, the program manager for the Pentagon renovation, and I wanted to take just a few minutes to go over with you some of the activities that we have under way in the wedges for recovery and ultimately renovation. [ Briefing slide ]

QUESTION: Would you spell you name and give us your title?

EVEY: Sure.

QUESTION: We should probably get it before --

EVEY: (Chuckles.) My last name is spelled Evey, E-V, as in Victor, E-Y.

QUESTION: E-V-E-Y.

EVEY: That's correct.

QUESTION: And your first name?

EVEY: My first name's Walker. W-A-L-K-E-R.

QUESTION: And you are?

EVEY: The program manager for Pentagon renovation.

QUESTION: Thanks.

QUESTION: But we'll call you Lee.

QUESTION: (Laughs.)

EVEY: (Laughs.) If Walker were your first name, you'd go by Lee, too. (Chuckles.)

The first thing I wanted to talk about is just physically some of the things we're doing out at the site. You start from the farthest perimeter of the site. Most of you have probably noticed that we've put in additional security screening. Kind of out here alongside Highway -- out there alongside Highway 27 -- we've put in some additional screens, with a green barrier. We'll be putting probably two more layers of screening behind that to provide additional security for the site, and ultimately those will become lay-down areas. We'll bring construction equipment and materials and people, sheds, et cetera, to support the reconstruction activity. That's the first thing.

The second thing is, at this point we've gone through many of the underground tunnels that honeycomb the areas underneath the building. They kind of parallel the sides of the building, as well as go underneath Wedge 1 and Wedge 2 itself. Those are in basically good shape. They all seem to be structurally sound. We've identified three areas where there's some leaking of water, but those things are being repaired as I speak, and probably by this afternoon those are all fixed.

We have been undergoing for some period of time and we continue a recovery of personal and government property that was left behind as people exited the area very quickly. That's a scheduled process. Depending on which wedge you're in, it's either being done ring by ring or floor by floor because of some slight difference in the configurations in the areas.

But we schedule organizations to go. We take them in, stand guard in the area while they go through the materials, et cetera, recover and retrieve what they can, and we leave with them.

We are doing a laser imagery and digital photography effort to map both the outside, the exterior of the wedges, as well as the inside. And we think that's going to make the reconstruction of those areas a little bit faster. We anticipate we'll save probably about a month in reconstruction effort because we can do that kind of remotely instead of having to physically measure things.

As you know, we were involved in the removal of equipment that allowed us to reopen Route 27, so that's open. Traffic's passing through that area freely.

We've begun to establish reoccupancy schedules for the wedges. And I'm proud to say that the first areas were available for reoccupancy yesterday, Monday, the 1st of October. And that was about maybe 10 percent of Wedge 1 and a slightly smaller percentage of Wedge 2 became available for occupancy as of yesterday. We've got some additional areas coming open, especially in Wedge 2, on the 5th of October. We have some additional areas coming open in November; some others areas coming open in January.

And probably the longest areas that we face are the areas we actually had the very large amount of physical destruction. Right now, our best estimate is going take us about 18 months to do the physical shell work in that area, that is the reconstruction of any of the foundations that are required, the columns, the floors, the outer wall, roof repairs, et cetera.

Probably the biggest ongoing challenge we have right now isn't construction per se -- we really haven't gotten into that phase very much -- but mostly the control of mold and mildew, especially in Wedge 1 and portions of Wedge 2, where literally thousands of gallons of water were dumped into those areas fighting the fires. There's a very large mold growth and mildew growth in that area. So we're going to have to do extensive recovery as a result of that.

At this time, about 50 percent of Wedge 1 has electrical power of some kind turned back on. In some cases, it's just enough to have electrical lights, some emergency lights on. But at least 50 percent of the Wedge have some type of electricity available.

We've already ordered the replacement electrical gear for Wedge 1. And we've also started to develop all of the long-lead equipment item lists that will require immediate ordering and immediate action to get those long-lead items underway and ordered.

We've got the domestic water lines reconnected in Wedge 1. We also have the fire pumps and the fire system, the sprinkler system recharged in Wedge 1, so that's available to support people moving into those areas. We've got extensive dehumidification available and ongoing in both wedges. We had to truck in very large equipment to accomplish it in the very large areas that we have.

We are accomplishing -- I think this is important -- extensive air monitoring to ensure that the air in both the areas that were damaged, as well as other areas in the building, are healthy and safe for our working environment.

And we also have, although it's not the alarm that you heard here just a few minutes ago, we're also starting fire alarm testing; we have that underway in the wedge, and especially Wedge 1, we'll have that going on for the next few days.

Now, a lot of interest has been expressed in who it is that will get this business. And I know in the past we've announced some contract awards and things like that. I'd like to mention that we are going to hold for small -- and small, disadvantaged businesses, who might be interested in working on the wedge recovery effort, who are interested in meeting with the Pentagon renovation prime contractors to discuss subcontracting opportunities, that we're going to have a meeting available to them so they can meet both of the prime contractors. It's going to be in Rosslyn Plaza North on the 24th of October, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. That's at 1777 Kent Street, Rosslyn, Virginia, Conference Room 3. So they'll have an opportunity to come in. We're going to give an overview of the Pentagon Renovation Program. We're going to follow that with a presentation from each one of the prime contractors and how it is they intend to go about doing their work. They're going to outline subcontracting opportunities that are available. And the attendees may also schedule appointments with the prime contractors to look for subcontracting opportunities, business opportunities, within the resultant wedge construction.

And information on that is available, as well as for many other subjects dealing with our program, at our Pentagon website, and that is renovation.pentagon.mil.

Some specific contract awards that we've made recently, I think you all are already aware of the AMEC contract for $520 million. It was a letter contract that we wrote early on. I'd like to say that AMEC has already awarded subcontracts to several contractors, among them is a company called Jewel, which is a small, disadvantaged business; it does cleaning services. It's $100,000. CapCo, another small, disadvantaged business which does painting and drywall. It's about $400,000. ACM, which is another small, disadvantaged business that does environmental remediation. That's going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million to $3 million worth of subcontracting. Another firm, called Mufti International, which is also a small, disadvantaged business, does carpeting, it's approximately $60,000.

We've also written subcontracts with firms KTLH Engineers, which is a woman-owned small business. It's about $500,000 worth of subcontract work. A subcontract for Core Drilling Services, which is also a woman-owned small business. That's approximately $500,000 for testing services. We've awarded a contract to Stanton Engineering Services, which is a small business; it's about $3.2 million. That's for fire protection services. We also, as you know, awarded a contract to RTKL Architectural -- it's a large business -- for about $20.8 million. But they've announced subcontracts with Orline Associates, which is a woman-owned small business, for about $500,000; and Historical Architecture for $500,000.

That's the information that I have that I just wanted to brief you on very quickly.

Questions? Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Is the plan to do -- to restore the damaged part of the building and then go back to the renovation schedule?

EVEY: Sir, it slightly depends, and we have a number of areas with different types of varying damage.

In general, there are areas in Wedge 1 which may be recovered independent of any of the activity we'll do for the rebuild-recovery. And so we'll be working to do that work as quickly as possible.

For example, if you were to go through Wedge 1 right now, much of what you would see would be, we're removing drywall and other porous objects and substances -- surfaces, up to about four to six feet high, depending on the amount of water damaged it received. We're removing all of that. We're removing a lot of furniture. You may be familiar with the library that was about to open down in Wedge 1 -- a very large, open area. We've removed all the furniture from that area. We actually knocked a wall out in the rear of the Pentagon, pushed all that furniture out through that hole, and we're reconfiguring that area as individual workstations. It's going to be like a big, open bay area. We're doing that work as quickly as possible. So we have that kind of work that's on-going and will continue in large areas of Wedge 1.

There are other portions of both Wedge 1 and Wedge 2 which will first require the recovery of structure, that's the building of the foundation elements -- the columns, the floor slabs, the outer wall, et cetera, and the replacement of limestone and such activities. The recovery, or the renovation of those areas will be dependent upon, first, the recovery activities taking place.

Same thing on the other side, almost a mirror-image of Wedge 1, in Wedge 2 you have areas that were not so badly damaged that they can't be brought back online independent of the recovery activity.

Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: As I recall, the $520 million contract was just for Wedge 1, right?

EVEY: Right.

QUESTION: So I guess what I want is the total count and amount. How much will the whole thing --

EVEY: Right. That was $520 million for the recovery effort plus the rebuild of Wedge 1. Okay? The recovery being the actual structure rebuilding that we have to do.

QUESTION: Right. But there's obviously damage in Wedge 2, as well.

EVEY: That's correct. And the damage in Wedge 2 -- the Wedge 2 through 5, contractor, Hensel Phelps -- one of the first steps that they would undergo as part of their normal renovation activity is they would do demolition and abatement. And as they go into the area and remove -- after the people left and after the furniture was gone, things like that, asbestos, et cetera -- they would strip that entire wedge down to bare concrete. So in effect, some of that work, perhaps, has already been done for them as part of the remediation effort underway.

QUESTION: I know this is tough, but I'll just have a little follow-up because, the question that an ordinary citizen might ask is, how much overall is this repair going to cost, incorporating renovations and repair from the attack? And when might it be concluded?

EVEY: Okay. We estimate about $520 million, okay, for the rebuild that has to be done that covers portions of both Wedge 1 and Wedge 2, plus the reconstruction of Wedge 1, which is also a recovery activity since it was already built and was brand new. Okay?

In addition to that, we'll have the dollar amount that's associated with Wedge 2 itself. Okay? My guess right now is that's probably in the neighborhood of 200 (million dollars), $300 million, somewhere in there.

QUESTION: And a time, maybe?

EVEY: The longest lead time that we have under way before we can actually start doing renovation in that area is where we have to rebuild the structure of the building. That rebuild effort will take about 18 months before we can start doing the renovation, what we call core work and tenant fit-out work. That's primary and secondary utility distribution, furniture, fixtures, equipment, carpeting, things like that, so you can actually move people in. So on top of that 18 months, it could take as much as about two years after that. We'll certainly try to do it faster than that, however.

QUESTION: Thank you.

EVEY: Yes, ma'am.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: I assume there would be a lot of irreplaceable historic material in the Pentagon library. Do you know how extensively it was damaged?

EVEY: Well, we were very lucky in that respect, in that the library we're talking about was the new library. The old library is located in Wedge 2, but in Wedge 2 outside of the direct impact and fire area. So to my knowledge, the library was affected very little by that. We lost a lot of brand-new furniture, but very little in the way of historical materials.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: I know, or I guess, that the recovery of people who were lost in the building is not your primary responsibility, but how has that impacted on the work that you're doing?

EVEY: That's not an effort that we've been involved in. That was accomplished by the fire department services.

QUESTION: But is that completed to the point where it's clear for you to do what you need to do?

EVEY: Essentially, yes, sir. Actually, the crash area itself, the damaged area, has been under the control of the Military District of Washington. It was handed off from the FBI to the Military District of Washington. And probably today, is my understanding, we will gain control of the area. By the time they have left, all of those activities are presumably completely finished.

QUESTION: Does that mean that essentially all the debris from the destruction from the attack has been cleared as well?

EVEY: Not all of it. There are some areas where, as part of the fire recovery activities, they were clearly operating in great haste, and they took things like desks and chairs and file cabinets and moved them out onto the roof of the second floor. And if you go through the area that's been fire damaged, you can see some amount of that type of debris still out on the roof areas. They're not visible from the roads exterior to the Pentagon and they are on the second- floor level, so you don't see them very easily. But some of that material will have to be recovered. In addition, certainly there's a much greater portion of the building that's physically damaged, and significantly damaged, such that it will have to be torn down before we can rebuild. We're still involved in assessment of that right now. So we're not exactly sure what the full extent of it will be.

QUESTION: The first phase of clearing out that debris is finished.

EVEY: Most of that first phase is finished.

Yes, sir.

QUESTION: You said that a small portion of Wedge 1 and an even smaller portion of Wedge 2 were made available to re-open this week?

EVEY: Correct.

QUESTION: Is there -- are there any lingering odors? What are the conditions like in that -- and has there been any hesitancy by anybody to move back in there?

EVEY: Well, there's a lot of concern. In adjacent areas there's mold growth and mildew, things like that, okay? And we're undergoing testing, extensive testing, as I've mentioned several times in the past, of the building to ensure that it's a healthy work environment.

If you go into those areas, those areas from the second floor to the fifth floor in -- it's an area we call "C area" -- let me point it out to you. (Pause - moves to diagram). It's right there.

QUESTION: How many people are working on this project?

EVEY: On my staff? About 300 people, sir. And most of them are pulling 15-18 hour days, and they've done it for 21 days now.

In that C area that I just highlighted for you, on floors 2-5, they were virtually untouched. Very, very little water damage. In those areas there's essentially no odor, no problem like that. We've provided temporary personnel walls that block those areas off so there's no movement of air from adjacent areas that may have mold and mildew. We've also established alternative routes in and out of that area different than what you might normally use in the Pentagon to provide easy access to those areas and effective use by the personnel that work there.

(Pause.) Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

QUESTION: Thank you.

End