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The CHAIRMAN. What is to be the character of this building!
Capt. KRUESI. That is to be a temporary wooden structure with & sprinkler system for protection against fire. It would be a wooden building, two stories high, without elevators. I have a blue print of the proposed ground plan here. Of course this is exceedingly crude. It will be a building with a front and four wings running back.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that considered safe!
Col. Harts. If I may interrupt there a moment, that estimate was based on cost figures of that date, but we have made an investigation recently into costs. We have been figuring on the same contract during the past week or two and we find that costs have so much increased that those figures are entirely too small. The market for lumber has been so depleted and the cost of steel and those things has so increased that those figures would probably have to be doubled now or you would have to add at least 50 per cent now in order to get the buildings constructed.
The CHAIRMAN. The Census Office Building is a two-story brick building, and Congress was simply overwhelmed with protests against it because it was a fire trap.
Col. Harts. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a brick building, and now you propose to erect a wooden building.
Col. HARTS. Yes. sir.
Mr. GILLETT. If you put in a sprinkler system, that will make it sa fe, will it not?
Cól. Harts. There is another thing about this building: It is something of a fire trap, but it will be in a block in which it will not be in contact with any other buildings. The records of this office will have to be taken away from these buildings and placed elsewhere. This is to be a place for doing the ordinary current work. The great demand is to get space. We have not enough space, and this is an opportunity to get space at a cheap cost.
The CHAIRMAN. Was any inquiry made as to the possibility of getcing the old Census Office Building?
Col. HARTS. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. It is partly occupied by some of the courts. We have had 3,000 persons employed in the census.
Col. Harts. We have been all over the situation so far as buildings are concerned, and have examined all of the buildings in the city that were available. We have eliminated about three-fourths of the buildings suggested for examination, and have suggested only the buildings that promise to give the best returns to the Government. The requirements of the situation are so important and so urgent in the different bureaus of the War Department that something has to be done very quickly, because in some rooms they are so badly overcrowded that the people have been going to the hospitals sick.
The CHAIRMAN. Could any other form of construction than wood be used in that building?
Col. Harts. Yes, sir; hollow tile could be used. It would be the next cheapest material to wood, but it would cost two or three times as much as we are asking for.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think this would cost $300,000?
Col. Harts. Pretty nearly that, I was going to ask to-day to have the estimate increased by 50 per cent, adding $75,000 to the estimate, which we think will do, but if this is going to go beyond the 1st of September, then the estimate will probably have to be changed again, because we do not know how long it will be before we can start. On plumbing and some other furnishings at the White House the prices are going to be 20 per cent higher after the 1st of September.
The CHAIRMAN. The estimate here is $150,000, and the question is whether some other form of construction could be utilized that would be safer, and whether in that event you could erect a three-story building?
Col. Harts. The question of elevators would then come in. We thought two stories was as high as could be conveniently used without elevators.
Mr. Cannon. Could you protect it fairly well by a sprinkler system?
Col. HARTS. Yes, sir. We expect it to be used for at least three years, and possibly four years, and we thought it good economy to suggest this construction and use a sprinkler system.
The CHAIRMAN. What I had in mind was whether there was a different type of construction that would be to some extent fire resisting and more secure.
Col. Harts. You could put up the outside walls of hollow tile, which would give some protection. Then, there is the question of the roof, which is the most vulnerable part of a building. If you put on a fireproof roof and put in fireproof floors you would increase the cost immensely, because that would mean steel supports for the floors and for the roof. This is to be a building of wooden posts and wooden walls. There would be ordinary clapboards on the outside, which would give
protection from the heat outside, and it could be heated in the wintertime.
Mr. GILLETT. Did you look at the Census Building or consider that at all!
Col. HARTS. No, sir.
Mr. GILLETT. And'it is about a mile up to 15th and M Streets, is it not?
Mr. SCOFIELD. No, sir. We walked it at a moderate pace inside of 10 minutes—about eight minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. You will have the building occupied by the Southern Railway down here?
Mr. SCOFIELD. We have already rented the building known as the Walker-Johnson Building, now occupied by the Southern Railway Co., near the Union Station.
The CHAIRMAN. That is farther away than the Census Building.
Mr. SCOFIELD. But that is for a complete bureau, or for a complete activity of the department.
The CHAIRMAN. The Census Building aceommodated 3,000 employees. You could put several complete activities in that.
Mr. SCOFIELD. I did not know that the Census Building was vacant.
The CHAIRMAN. It is partly occupied, but it might be possible to move the courts out of there and let you go right in it.
Mr. GILLETT. There always seemed to be a great prejudice against that Census Building. •
Mr. SCOFIELD. It was very hot, and there was complaint about the sufferings of the clerks there.
The CHAIRMAN. There was a good deal of complaint of every character in order to get out of it.
Mr. SCOFIELD. We had great difficulty in getting them away from the War Department. We had great difficulty in getting them down to the Land Office, and we had to establish a Ford bus service.
REPAIRS TO BUILDING AT 506 FOURTEENTI STREET NW.--DARBY BUILDIXG.
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is. “For repairs and necessary alterations to Government-owned building situated at 506 Fourteenth Street NW., recently damaged by fire, fiscal year 1918, $15,000." Mr. SCOFIELD. That is the Darby Building. The CHAIRMAN. How much space do you get there? Mr. SCOFIELD. 14,000 feet.
Capt. KRUESI. It amounts to a little over $1 a foot, but that is the capital charge. If the building is used for two years, the cost is 50 cents per foot.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you completely overhaul it?
Mr. SCOFIELD. It was gutted by fire. This also includes painting, putting in toilets, cutting windows for more light, etc.
STATE, WAR, AND NAVY DEPARTMENT BUILDING.
INSTALLATION OF ADDITIONAL BOILER.
The ('HAIRMAX. You are asking $15,000 for the installation of an additional boiler in the State, War, and Navy Department Building for heating and lighting the Mills Building. How is it heated now?
Mr. SCOFIELD, They have a plant there now. When we leased that building I knew that when the Navy Department was in there they had a connection between the War Department Building and that building, and that it was heated and lighted from the War Department very cheaply. I have found that since that time the load on the heating and lighting plant of the War Department has increased so largely that the Superintendent of the State, War, and Navy Department was not able to heat and light the Mills Building without an additional boiler.
The CHAIRMAN. Why not use the plant that is in the building? Mr. SCOFIELD. We can use it, but the Superintendent of the State, War, and Navy Department Building, Col. Harts, thinks that he can do it very much more cheaply in this way. If we occupy the building for three years, the saving would pay for the boiler.
Col. HARTS. We estimate that it will cost about $6,700 to heat and light the building from that plant, furnishing the heat from the plant in the building and buying the electric current outside. We can heat and light the building for about $1,600, so that we could save about $5,000 a year, or enough to pay for the boiler in three years. If that building is to be leased by the Government for three years or over, it will pay to put in the boiler. If it is not to be leased for that long a time, then it is a question. . We have the most efficient boiler system in the city in the State, War, and Navy Department Building. We can furnish electricity for less than 2 cents per kilowatt, and we are now lighting the White House, the Civil Service Building, and the Navy Department Building in addition to our own. We get our heat from the exhaust steam as a by-produet, so that it is furnished practically free of cost.
The CHAIRMAN. Will this boiler be added to the ones you have in the State, War, and Navy Department Building?
Col. Harts. Yes, sir; this boiler will be added to the battery of four boilers in that building, so that it can be used in our own building in case of necessity.
Mr. SCOFIELD. In any event, you will still have the boiler?
Col. HARTS. Yes, sir; we have room for two more boilers than we have at present, and this will take up the space for one.
HIGHWAY BRIDGE ACROSS POTOMAC RIVER.
The CHAIRMAX. The next item is on page 20, “Highway bridge across the Potomac River: For lighting, power, and miscellaneous supplies, and expenses of every kind necessarily incident to the operation and maintenance of the bridge and approaches, fiscal year 1918, $1,000.”
Col. Harts. This was for the extra lighting for the safety of this bridge. When war was declared, we found that we had to put additional lights on to better guard'the bridge from injuries, and the Secretary of War authorized the expense.
The CHAIRMAN. That is for this long bridge?
OFFICE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS.
The CHAIRMAN, The next item is on page 32: For additional employees during the fiscal year 1918 at annual rates of comsensation as follows: Clerks-1 of class 2 and 1 of class 1, $2,600.
Col. Harts. I am asking for two extra men in the office, one at $1,200 and one at $1,400. We have increased our work there enormonsly in the past few years, but we have not had any increase in
the clerical force, so it is of the utmost necessity that we ask for this additional force. Our work has not only increased but we have been required recently to pay our employees twice a month instead of once a month, which has greatly increased the burden on our office force.
Mr. GILLETT. Did you ask for that last winter on the legislative bill?
Col. Harts. I think I did, but I am not quite sure.
TUESDAY, JULY 17, 1917.
(See p. 327.)
STATEMENTS OF CAPT. C. P. DALY, OFFICE OF THE QUARTERMAS
TER GENERAL, AND LIEUT. COL. H. C. FISHER, OF THE OFFICE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL.
REPAIRS TO BUILDINGS, WHARVES, ETC., FORTS BARRANCAS, M'REE, ETC. The CHAIRMAN. Your first item is as follows:
For repairs to buildings, wharves, roads, etc., at Forts Barrancas, McRee, and Pickens, Fla., and Forts Morgan and Gaines, Ala., damaged by the hurricanes of July 5 and October 17 and 18, 1916, fiscal year 1918, $89,962.60.
Capt. DALY. That is the amount required in addition to the $50,000 that was previously appropriated by Congress for the repair of damages occasioned by the storm of July 5. That amount was not sufficient to repair the damages due to that storm, and then the storms of October 17 and 18 were as severe, if not severer, than the storm of July 5. The damage was greater.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you not an appropriation available for the repair of wharves and things of that sort?
Capt. Daly. We have an appropriation for roads, walks, wharves, and drainage.
The CHAIRMAN. Why not use it?
The CHAIRMAN. It is for repairs to buildings, wharves, roads, etc. You have an appropriation for the repair of buildings!
Capt. Daly. That is for barracks and quarters.
The CHAIRMAN. You are just starting the fiscal year and you have unlimited funds for everything. You have $3,000,000 for barracks and quarters and a lot of the troops will be out of them.
Capt. Daly. Yes, sir; but that does not remove the necessity for repairing the buildings.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not have so much repairing to do.
Capt. Daly. Buildings that are unoccupied require a great deal of attention and repairs.
The CHAIRMAN. You have $3,000,000 in the Army bill and in the deficiency bill you have $47,000,000.