SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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H.R. 3504, A BILL TO REAUTHORIZE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR OPERATIONS, MAINTENANCE AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FOR THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
PLEASE NOTE: The following transcript is a portion of the official hearing record of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Additional material pertinent to this transcript may be found on the web site of the Committee at [http://www.house.gov/transportation]. Complete hearing records are available for review at the Committee offices and also may be purchased at the U.S. Government Printing Office.
PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
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TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
MARCH 25, 1998
Printed for the use of the
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTUCTURE
BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania, Chairman
DON YOUNG, Alaska
THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin
SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
THOMAS W. EWING, Illinois
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
JAY KIM, California
STEPHEN HORN, California
BOB FRANKS, New Jersey
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
JACK QUINN, New York
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida
VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
SUE W. KELLY, New York
RAY LaHOOD, Illinois
RICHARD H. BAKER, Louisiana
FRANK RIGGS, California
CHARLES F. BASS, New Hampshire
ROBERT W. NEY, Ohio
JACK METCALF, Washington
JO ANN EMERSON, Missouri
EDWARD A. PEASE, Indiana
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
JOSEPH R. PITTS, Pennsylvania
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCASA HUTCHINSON, Arkansas
MERRILL COOK, Utah
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
CHARLES W. ''CHIP'' PICKERING, Jr., Mississippi
KAY GRANGER, Texas
JON D. FOX, Pennsylvania
THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
JERRY MORAN, Kansas
VITO FOSSELLA, New York
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
WILLIAM O. LIPINSKI, Illinois
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
JAMES A. TRAFICANT, Jr., Ohio
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois
GLENN POSHARD, Illinois
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPAT DANNER, Missouri
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina
CORRINE BROWN, Florida
JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan
BOB FILNER, California
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
JUANITA MILLENDER-McDONALD, California
ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
MAX SANDLIN, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
BILL PASCRELL, Jr., New Jersey
JAY W. JOHNSON, Wisconsin
LEONARD L. BOSWELL, Iowa
JAMES P. McGOVERN, Massachusetts
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
NICK LAMPSON, Texas
JOHN ELIAS BALDACCI, Maine
MARION BERRY, Arkansas
Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Economic Development
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJAY KIM, California, Chairman
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana, Vice Chairman
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia
BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. TRAFICANT, Jr., Ohio
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
NICK LAMPSON, Texas
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
Ungar, Bernard L., Director, Government Business Operations Issues, General Government Division, U.S. General Accounting Office, reports
Wilker, Lawrence J., President, John F. Kennedy Cnter for the Performing Arts
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PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY WITNESSES
Ungar, Bernard L
Wilker, Lawrence J
SUBMISSIONS FOR THE RECORD
Unger, Bernard L., Director, Government Business Operations Issues, General Government Division, U.S. General Accounting Office, reports:
Kennedy Center, Information on the Capital Improvement Program, February 1993
Kennedy Center, Audit Duplication Can be Prevented, August 1997
Wilker, Lawrence J., President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:
Response to question from Rep. Norton concerning the extent minorities and women are involved in contracting activities
The Kennedy Center Board of Trustees as of February 1998
Kennedy Center National Education Projects
Responses to post hearing questions
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H.R. 3504, A BILL TO REAUTHORIZE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR OPERATIONS, MAINTENANCE AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FOR THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 1998
U.S. House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Economic Development,
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a.m., in Room 2253, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jay Kim (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. KIM. The subcommittee will come to order.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Good morning, everyone. I wish to welcome all of you today and members as well this morning.
This hearing is to receive testimony on House Resolution 3504, a bill to reauthorize Federal funding for operations, maintenance and capital improvements for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The bill authorizes $171 million over the next 11 years for capital improvements and $173 million for the operation and maintenance, also over the next 11 years.
The Kennedy Center has a long history with this committee. In 1964, as you know, the Public Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee reported legislation creating the Kennedy Center as a living memorial to the late President. In 1972, the committee recognized the need for Federal funding for the upkeep of this memorial and authorized funds for that purpose.
The committee has authorized other improvements to the building, including legislation passed in 1994 which authorized the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees to operate and maintain the facility and authorized the developmentof a long-term plan for the renovation of the Center. That legislation was important because it transferred the responsibility of repairing and improving buildings from the National Park Service to the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center.
In 1997, Congress passed legislation authorizing the Kennedy Center to expand the parking garage by using Industrial Revenue Bonds to pay for the expansion. The legislation prohibited the use of Federal funds for this purpose.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Today we are now considering the reauthorization of funding to continue the responsibilities originally established in the 1994 legislation. This morning we will hear from the President of Kennedy Center and from the Director of Government Business Operations Issues of the General Accounting Office.
I wish to thank all the witnesses in advance for their participation today.
At this time, I would like to recognize Mr. Traficant, our ranking member, for his comments.
Mr. TRAFICANT. Thank you, Mr. Kim. It is good to have you back here, unencumbered and doing a good job. I mean that.
I want to welcome Mr. Wilker, Mr. Ungar. Kennedy Center is a great, great program. I am a great supporter of it and have been.
GAO, as far as I am concerned, is one of the true government agencies that lets us know what is happening. I appreciate that, too.
We have been a little tough in this committee on a couple of agencies that are not always forthcoming. But I am pleased to learn that the Millennium Stage presentations, which are open to the public and free, and also your plans to take the Kennedy Center out on the road to the communities around the millennium. I want to let you know that I support that wholeheartedly.
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Furthermore, I ask unanimous consent that Mr. Wilker be authorized to submit a reasonable budget to effect those goals if those monies are not present to take the Kennedy Center around the millennium to the people.
Mr. KIM. Thank you for that fine opening statement.
Mr. TRAFICANT. That was a unanimous consent request, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KIM. Without objection, so be it.
Mr. TRAFICANT. I look forward to your testimony.
Mr. KIM. At this time, I would like to welcome
Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, may I
Mr. KIM. I am sorry. I would like to recognize the distinguished gentlewoman from the District of Columbia, Ms. Norton.
Ms. NORTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Certainly not to delay the hearing and only for a few opening words of thanks to the Kennedy Center for the way in which it has reached out to the country and, at the same time, that it has reached out to the District.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When I go to the Kennedy Center and I hear thefor whatever performance and I hear the Millennium Stage choruses in the background, I know that this national treasure has been shared in just the way the Congress would most anticipate.
I am particularly grateful for the way in which the Kennedy Center has reached out to the youngsters and to the people of the District of Columbia. I would like to encourage more of that, and I would like to encourage more work on your part to make sure that residents of the District of Columbia are able to attend performances and understand more about this great treasure in our own midst and how important it is to take advantage of it.
Thank you for your work for this city.
Mr. KIM. Mr. Wilker, you may proceed.
TESTIMONY OF LAWRENCE J. WILKER, PRESIDENT, JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS; AND BERNARD L. UNGAR, DIRECTOR, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS OPERATIONS ISSUES, GENERAL GOVERNMENT DIVISION, U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
Mr. WILKER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, I am Larry Wilker, President of the John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts. I am pleased to appear before you today with the Center's General Counsel, Bill Becker; Vice President for Facilities, Clif Jeter; Project Executive, James Kirkman; and Jared Barlage and Eileen Goldspiel of our Government Liaison Office. I have submitted to the subcommittee a prepared statement.
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Let me begin by saying that we have worked diligently with the legislative members of the Kennedy Center's Operations Committee and with congressional staff in developing our capital repair program. We are very grateful for the oversight and guidance we have received.
This bill, H.R. 3504, will enable the Kennedy Center to proceed with the 1995 comprehensive building plan to bring the building, a Federal asset and national monument, up to current ADA and fire and life safety standards.
Let me speak to the bill section by section.
Section 2 clarifies the standard that the Board applies as it proceeds with the capital repair program. As the Board continues its work to address accessibility and life safety concerns, the bill confirms that the work may be carried out in a manner that will preserve the functionality of the building. For example, to renovate the Opera House to include accessible seating for the disabled, additional floor area is needed or there will be a loss of theater seating capacity because accessible seating positions take more space than conventional seats.
The only way to maintain the functionality of the theater is to increase the floor area to allow for at least the current capacity of 2,300 or more seats. Unless a capacity of 2300 or more is maintained, the Opera House would end up being uneconomic and not usable for many purposes, because ballet, musicals and other types of large-scale productions require capacity of at least this size.
Please note that the clarification maintains the concept that additions to the building are not to be funded with appropriated funds. Therefore, projects like the parking garage expansion must be funded with private funds.
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Section 3 of the bill would modify the requirement that the Board operate and maintain only the features on the site that existed at the time of 1994 amendments. As you will remember, just last June I appeared before the subcommittee to testify on the Kennedy Center Parking Improvement Act. That statute allows the Board to modify the site for security purposes and to improve site circulation. This provision will clarify that appropriations authorized for operations and maintenance may be used for the facility and site as modified.
The final section of the bill, section 4, authorizes appropriations for maintenance, repair and security and for capital projects for fiscal year 1999 through fiscal year 2009, the remaining period for capital repair of the building under the comprehensive building plan.
The present capital repair authorization is $9 million. This level is inadequate for efficient implementation of phase 2 of the Center's comprehensive building plan. The comprehensive building plan projected a total cost of $171 million for fiscal years 1999 through 2009 for the capital repair program. The $11 million increase in authorization for fiscal years 1999, 2000 and 2001 would subsequently decrease in the outyears. As a consequence, the projected total cost for the 11-year period is not changed.
This proposal also includes authorization through 2009 for operation and maintenance activities. The initial increase from $12 million to $13 million will permit the Board to continue to reduce the $9 1/2 million minor repair backlog. Thereafter, increases are scheduled to cover inflationary increases only.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, as you know, more than 4 1/2 million people visit the Kennedy Center each year from all over the United States. Indeed, the programs of the Board transcend the building as we present a vast array of the Nation's performing arts and international programs at sites and, through the media, throughout the country. Kennedy Center truly is a living memorial.
On behalf of the Kennedy Center's Board of Trustees, let me say that we appreciate this subcommittee's continued oversight and attention to the Kennedy Center's plans and programs; and I thank you for the committee's consideration this morning.
Mr. KIM. Thank you for your fine statement.
Let us move on to the next speaker, Mr. Bernard Ungar.
Mr. UNGAR. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, we certainly appreciate the opportunity to be here this morning to discuss recent work that we have done on behalf of the subcommittee at the Kennedy Center.
We would like to talk about two issues this morning. We have submitted a formal statement; but, in summary, the first issue deals with what we believe is the need to prevent audit duplication in connection with audits of the appropriated funds provided for Kennedy Center building operations.
In 1994, legislation for the Kennedy Center required GAO at least once every 3 years, to do an audit of the expenditure of building operations appropriated funds. Last year, we began that effort, as required, and during the course of our audit planning noted that the Center, which had annually engaged an independent auditor, was already subject to such an appropriated funds audit of a scope similar to the one which we are required to do. Nevertheless, we continued to pursue our effort.
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We looked at the independent auditor's adit plan and what had actually been done and concluded that, if we continued on with carrying out our audit as required by the act, we would have duplicated much of the work of the Center's independent auditor. We did not think that that would be the best course of action.
We with Committee staff discussed the situation and reached agreement that we should report what we had found and suggest that the legislative requirement for our audit once at least every 3 years be eliminated or rescinded. We did issue that report.
We also noted during the course of our work that, while the independent auditor did cover the Center's use of appropriations and did look at the statutory limitation imposed on use of those funds for performing arts functions, it did not discuss the testing performed in its report. Therefore, we suggested to Kennedy Center officials that they include such a reporting requirement in their engagement letter with the auditor to ensure that they auditor's discusses the tests performed.
The Kennedy Center agreed and, in 1997, the independent auditor's report did discuss the testing of compliance and the limitation and found no problems.
So, basically, we do believe then that Congress ought to repeal the requirement for GAO to do the audit, as we had indicated. Of course, we would certainly always be available to look at any specific issues that the committee may have for us to look at. We do have other authority which permits us to do that. The Kennedy Center has always been very willing to help us do the work that we have had to do there.
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The second issue involves the capability of the Center to do facility management functions. When the 1994 amendments were passed, the Center did not have the capability to manage capital repair projectswhat we really mean by that, staff who are skilled in that function and an organizational structure and management systems. It did not need to have that kind of a staff at that time because the work was the responsibility of the National Park Service.
Unfortunately, over a period of years, because of the split responsibility between the Park Service and the Center, some problems arose and some of the work that should have been done on the facility did not get done. That was clearly recognized. The act was changed.
During the course of the last several years, the Center has initiated efforts and has developed a facility management capability. It has about 55 positions that are devoted to that particular effort. It has a formal structure which we elaborate on in the report we just issued today to the subcommittee.
It also is in the process of implementing or has already implemented management information systems that include facilities operating and financial information in connection with the Center. So it appears to us as though the Center is a good way toward having the capability that it needs to manage and operate the facility.
That concludes our summary, and we would certainly be willing to answer any questions that you may have.
Mr. KIM. Before we proceed with questions, the Chair wishes to recognize our full committee ranking member, Mr. Oberstar. I would like to welcome you here.
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Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KIM. Would you like to make any statement?
Mr. OBERSTAR. Very briefly.
I am very pleased that you are moving ahead with the hearing on the Kennedy Center. I appreciate your acting expeditiously. This authorization should be a unanimous consent matter. It should not involve any significant debate.
I want to pay tribute to Larry Wilker. Although I said last night at an event for Senator Ford, I came over to pay tribute; he said, I am not dead yet. So I will change the phrasing of that.
I want to pay my respects. That doesn't work out either. You go to funerals to pay respects.
I want to say you are doing a great job. The Kennedy Center is doing wonderfully, and the investment that we have made in the Kennedy Center is paying off in terms of public participation.
The Millennium Stage has had enormous popular support. I hear it from visitors from Minnesota, from outside the Washington, D.C., area. I have met with numerous people that have said that this is such a great outreach of the arts to the people.
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If anyone questions the significance of the Kennedy Center and the role that it plays in the national stimulus for the arts, performing arts, they just might stop and think that eternity seems to care more about who writes a nation's songs and its plays and its poetry and its literature than it does about who builds its empires. Because song, dance and literature, great art have outlived empires; and what is performed at the Kennedy Center will long outlive the American empire.
Thank you for all you do.
Mr. KIM. Thank you.
At this time, I would like to ask our ranking member, Mr. Traficant, if he has any questions.
Mr. TRAFICANT. I want to concur with the comments of our leader, Mr. Oberstar. I really don't have any questions.
I want to commend GAO for working with the staff on both sides of the aisle. This subcommittee takes pride in working with our staff and having our staff advise us, and we were made aware that you worked very carefully and closely with our staff to reach your decisions and have your input on your audit and your respective assessment of the Kennedy Center involvement.
I also want to concur again with Mr. Oberstar on another thing. I think the fact that the Kennedy Center is America's program and your plans to, around the millennium, to even expand that and take it to the people further with local Kennedy Center-types of performances in communities that could embrace the great performing arts activity that you bring, I want to let you know that my community will host one of those. We want to host one of those, and we will put that together for you.
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Like we said here earlier, Mr. Chairman, to effect that goal of the Kennedy Center reaching out to do performances in respective communities, they may come with a supplemental request somewhere down the line within reason of a budgeted amount. We passed a unanimous consent to ask Mr. Wilker to submit that to us. You were not here, and I am hoping that we would have the support of both you and Chairman Shuster, who is very supportive.
I just want to thank you, Mr. Wilker, for a great program success story. We deal with a lot of crap at times, and we are real proud to have you here.
GAO, thank you for letting us know what goes on in our massive government.
Mr. KIM. At this time, the Chair recognizes Mr. Tom Davis from Virginia.
Mr. DAVIS. I don't think I have any questions, Mr. Chairman.
It looks like the authorizations in the outyears are goingyou will be able to meet your obligations for what you have done in capital and your continuing operations; is that correct?
Mr. WILKER. Yes, sir. We have done a fair amount of engineering studies, and we are not changing the total cost of the project at all in the outyears. Actually, the numbers decrease a bit to keep the total within the $171 million program that was developed a number of years ago. We believe we can accomplish all the work we need to within that amount.
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Mr. DAVIS. It is really chump change when you talk about all the massive programs that we have here to keep this going. I would concur.
In terms of what this has come to symbolize for the city and for the Nation, your outreach programs, allowing a lot of our local arts and school groups to come down there and participate every year, is a great thrill and inspiration to the kids. It is an outstanding program.
I am happy to sit on this committee and look forward to unanimous approval of your request.
Mr. KIM. The Chair recognizes Ms. Norton.
Ms. NORTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
In addition to your work in the performing arts, Mr. Wilker, we greatly appreciate the work that finally is being done on capital improvements for the Center. I strongly supported the study that is now included in the BESTEA bill that our committee passed yesterday, $500,000 to study how to improve access to the Kennedy Center from the rest of the Mall. Particularly with the programs that are now in place, it is very important to be able to walk, if at all possible, to the Mall; and I look forward to that work and to its results.
I note that, of course, you are trying to do this the right way, by seeking an appropriation for the course of the work or at least an 11-year appropriation. May I ask you what would occur if authorizationwhat would occur ifwhat would be your backup plan or how would you approach this work if an authorization for less time than that were approved?
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Mr. WILKER. We would be prepared to work within whatever time frame the Congress believes in its wisdom would work for this authorization.
Ms. NORTON. How was 11 years chosen?
Mr. WILKER. Because that includes the full program.
We have now done enough work and conducted enough studies a to know what needs to be done to bring the Center up to current accessibility and life safety standards. That is, in fact, an 11-year program that has a fairly specific price attached to it. We felt that it would be important to bring to Congress the total program rather than to bring it to you piecemeal. We wanted to lay out the entire work that needed to be done and recognize that we are entering into a major program to complete this building over an 11-year period.
Ms. NORTON. I don't think you will have problems with the full committee or even on the floor. I think youas always, anyone who wants money will have his work cut out for him before the appropriations subcommittees. But I certainly hope that this work can proceed on course.
Can I ask you about your contracting activities and the extent to which minorities and women are involved in your contracting activities?
Mr. WILKER. We work very hard to follow all of the Federal acquisition guidelines. We have tried not to build a large in-house staff but contract out many services in terms of work, in terms of bidding and analyzing contracts, to ensure that minority and women-owned businesses are included in the process. We have been using the Army Corps of Engineers to do a lot of that work up to the present time.
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I can ask Jim Kirkman, who is our Project Executive and who has many years experience both with the National Park Service and several other government agencies, to give you some more specifics on that if you would like.
Ms. NORTON. To save the time of the committee, I would ask that you provide the committee and provide me personally with documents concerning your outreach program on contracting with minorities and women.
Mr. WILKER. Okay.
[The information follows:]
Ms. NORTON. One final question, I understand that the Kennedy Center is willing to join with the Duke Ellington School of the Arts to help establish a charter school or at least there is some interest in that. The Congress had indicated when it passed charter school legislation in the last Congress that it thought that the museums in the District of Columbia should be the first to step forward to set up charter schools. I understand from Peggy Cafritz that there is some interest on the part of the Kennedy Center. I was delighted to hear that. Could you elaborate on that in any way?
Mr. WILKER. I would be pleased to.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If I could, one of my colleagues reminds me, on your previous question, that we very liberally use the Small Business Administration program, which involves minority and women-owned businesses, in a lot of our work.
With regard to charter schools, the Kennedy Center, as you know, is extremely involved and interested in improving education in American schools, particularly by making the arts an integral part of the education of every child.
We work very strongly with the District schools and with surrounding suburban schools to develop these programs that we share with the rest of the country; but we have felt for some time now that we needed even heavier involvement, to be involved on a regular daily basis with at least one specific school. So we thought at first that we might establish our own charter school to be able to do that within the District, and then in conversations with the Duke Ellington School found that they were also working on becoming a charter school.
So we thought, rather than starting our own school, we would be better off to pair with an existing organization and form a partnership where we could both bring great assets to the table to improve the education of the children of the District.
Ms. NORTON. Mr. Davis, who is the chair of the District subcommittee, and I are both strong proponents of just this kind of partnership and have pressed it and to not much avail from other Federal agencies. I can't tell you how important it is that the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts, they are a virtual profession in the way in which they perform and the way in which they educate. Your involvement could mean everything in the world.
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They have succeeded in getting hundreds of volunteers to come in to do tutoring. They get children from all over the city. Most of them come from disadvantaged parts of the city; and, because they come behind in grade, what the school needs is people with a sense of excellence in every way, disconnecting them, if I may say so, from the District public schools so they have a first-class principal, so that they could get first-class teachers and so that the work that they are doing hand to mouth just to get volunteers to do it has to be done. It would be an extraordinary service to the city, as well, of course, to these youngsters.
Why am I forgetting the name of the world-class opera singer? I came to see her in Carmen.
Mr. WILKER. Denyce Graves.
Ms. NORTON. Denyce Graves, who is a graduate of Duke Ellington and who is now everyone's favorite, of course, comes out of this school.
I would like, before you leave, to get the name of a person on your staff that my office could work with so that we could move this along.
Mr. WILKER. I would be pleased to. We are very excited about this possibility. We have long had a relationship with the Duke Ellington School as well as many other schools in the District but this would provide a partnership that we think could be a model for the rest of the Nation.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. NORTON. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KIM. Mr. Lampson, the gentleman from Texas.
Mr. LAMPSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have no questions, but it is nice to be able to echo the words that have been stated by my colleagues before me in the way that you perform the operation there. It is impressive to visit the Center, the fact that you handlewhat3 and a half million visitors a year through the building.
Mr. WILKER. Close to 5.
Mr. LAMPSON. Close to 5. Close to 3,000 probably performances, that is a significant amount.
It is nice to join their praise, and it is also nice to be able to commend you on the activities that you are involved in with education, in helping promote this to the young people who are going to become our future. We thank you.
Mr. WILKER. Thank you, sir.
Mr. KIM. Thank you.
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I do have some questions and statements to make.
First, easy questions to Mr. Ungar. Since we transferred this responsibility from the Park Service to this Board, in your opinion, are they doing better now in terms of streamlining contracting practices? Do you think it works pretty good now or do you disagree with that?
Mr. UNGAR. Mr. Chairman, yes particularly in the area of overall facility management, for which they didn't have responsibility before. The work that we have done has shown that things are certainly getting done in terms of the repair and maintenance and capital projects. The Center has a plan in place that will carry it forward for a number of years.
So, things generally look better. We have not done a detailed review of individual contracts on a case-by-case basis, but at least, in a general sense, the certainly have a structure in place now that it didn't have before. The Center how has an individual in-house who is a contracting officer. The Center didn't have that capability in-house before.
As I indicated, they are developing or has already developed a number of management information systems which does and will enable it to track financial and operating information. So, it looks like the Center is headed in the right direction.
Mr. KIM. Mr. Wilker, do you agree with that statement?
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WILKER. I do very much. We feel that, by having control over our own facility and being able to concentrate on these projects, that we have performed the work efficiently and inexpensively, providing economical use of the taxpayers' dollars.
For example, almost all the projects that we have done have come in well under the government estimate, especially the Concert Hall Project, which was originally estimated at $25 million and was completed for something close to $14 million; the Roof Project, which was originally estimated at $17 million, cost $11 million. So I think we have been very prudent and judicious in our use of funds and have accomplished a great deal of work since we took over the building.
Mr. KIM. Thank you.
You have shown, in section 4, that 11 yearsyou have shown that maintenance costs will be increased steadily from 13 million, 14, 15, et cetera. Yet capital projects you have shown actually declining, starting with 20 million and then eventually becoming 10 million.
Looking back at history over the last 20 years, which you have, we have spent $283 million altogether on capital improvement programs and O&M costs. Looking at this historical review, last 25 years, it has steadily increased in terms of capital improvement programs and also O&M costs. As a matter of fact, a dramatic increase.
Looking at this, comparing historical information what you suggest here or propose, are you trying to abandon the building? Why are you spending less and less on capital projects? I know it is difficult to project 11 years. What is the theory behind this?
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Mr. WILKER. Mr. Chairman, we inherited a building that virtually had no capital improvement dollars spent on it from the time it was built until the Kennedy Center Board assumed control of the building, other than a minor roof repair in the late 1970s. So we have a large startup in terms of capital improvements that began when we assumed control of the building almost 4 years ago.
As we work through that capital improvement program, particularly through what we call the Center Block Project, which is what we are planning for and would begin work on in a year or 2, that would be the largest of all of the capital projects we would have to accomplish.
We have already repaired the garage, put a whole new roof on the building, fixed the exterior marble, installed new chiller systems, and are beginning to install new fire alarm and sprinkler systems. As we get through the Center Block Project, the amount of money required to bring the building up to current accessibility and life safety standards would decline. We would be in a ''steady state'' mode of maintaining and operating the building and doing preventive maintenance to keep the building up to a standard that we would all be proud of so that we don't find ourselves in the capital improvement mess that we inherited. We would just have to maintain the work that has been put in place.
Mr. KIM. I want to ask a question on this O&M cost.
Looking at your proposal and looking at the historical expenditure, last 25 years Kennedy Center has spent roughly $146 million, 25 years. Now we are asking $173 million for the next 11 years, which is more than twice. Why does it cost so much money comparing to all the historical expenditures? How did you get this estimate?
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Mr. WILKER. Mr. Chairman, I have only been with the Kennedy Center about 7 years; but it is my understanding that in the first 23 or 24 years there was little or no preventive maintenance and repair that was done in the building; and that is one reason why it deteriorated so badly. We are facing a backlog of almost $10 million of minor repair projects that we are trying to address.
Once we accomplish those, we want to spend enough on our operations and maintenance to keep the building in good repair, which had not been done before. As I said earlier, that will prevent deterioration.
The level of expenditure required to do the kind of preventive maintenance necessary on a million and a half square foot building with sophisticated systems is really more than has been spent in the past in order to do a proper job.
We also have to account for inflationary increases from dollars in the early 1970s to dollars after the millennium.
Ms. NORTON. Will the Chairman yield for a colloquy?
Mr. KIM. I would be happy to.
Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, having served on the committee when the Center was under the Park Service, I can say without fear of contradiction that when one Federal agency has to fund another one, what the Park Service did, perhaps naturally so, is to skimp on the part of its budget that went for repairs and maintenance of the Kennedy Center. And in its wisdom this subcommittee recognized that as long as these two essentially were competing against one another, the Park Service would naturally try to husband its fund, and thus have freed them from the Park Service. Now they have to make up for what the Park Service did not indeed fund them to do and the time to do it.
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Mr. KIM. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Ungar, I know it is difficult to go back and try to look at this, but I want you to sort of quickly go through this. Let me state the concern that I have.
We have given aappropriated to the Park Service $65 million. They only got back $20 million from this Kennedy Center reimbursement. Looking at this last 20-some years, they spent $283 million. Yet I am hearing today that the building is in bad shape and leaking, and it has not been done. Who spent $283 million in the first place?
Second, we are asking an additional $344 million; and today we talk about $650 million spending on this building here. I wonder how much it costs to build a brand new one today? That has been a problem.
Would you kind of quickly look at that and report back to me, why this, just the sky-is-the-limit kind of expenditure, on and on. I am not saying that their program is not appropriate, but just looking at the past expenditure habit versus what you are proposing, it just does not make any sense to me.
Now do you think it is a good idea that, instead of 11-year appropriation, how about 5-year authorization? Do you like that better? Do you have any problem with that? Eleven years is kind of difficult to project. Perhaps 5-year program may be better. Will we be able to project realistically? I am more than happy to change this bill to reflect that.
Mr. WILKER. We would be pleased, Mr. Chairman, to have any length of authorization that you feel would be appropriate. We could work within a 5-year authorization. As I said earlier, we have asked for 11 because we know how long it will take to complete phase 2 of our program and it would be helpful not to have to come back for reauthorization from time to time. On the other hand, we are perfectly willing to live with whatever term seems appropriate to this committee.
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Mr. KIM. The committee wishes to review it at least every 5 years instead of 11 years and just give you the okay. Mr. Counsel, we will revise the bill so we can reflect to 5 years instead of an 11-year program.
Before I proceed with another question, the Chair recognizes Mr. Cooksey for any opening statement or any questions.
Mr. COOKSEY. Well, I have been to three other subcommittee meetings. I am just going through and checking them off.
I will tell you that the Kennedy Center is a great treasure for this Nation. My wife and children and I have been going there off and on for 20 years, all the way from my district. I am glad it is there. I want to see you continue. Use the taxpayers money judicially.
Mr. WILKER. We do, sir. Thank you.
Mr. COOKSEY. I am sure you do. Thank you.
Mr. KIM. Are there any other members who wish to be recognized at this time?
Mr. TRAFICANT. Mr. Chairman, I just want to make it known that the Democrats have supported this 11-year authorization program; and, your concerns notwithstanding, we have not discussed that. We would like to have the opportunity to discuss that and confer with our position and come back to you.
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The only thing I would like to say, regardless of what we work out here, we are totally in support of what you have done. As Ms. Norton stated, to separate the Park Service from the Kennedy Center was an issue that had to be addressed. It was addressed. I believe the GAO has come back and shown that there has been a reduction in duplicative types of things. There has been progress made towards it.
I think that, if anything, I could say for myself, I can't speak for everybody else, I would like to see the Kennedy Center continue to reach out, take the arts to our country, because the great resource that you give to Washington, D.C., and to the visitors here, in my opinion, is one of the great cultural presentations of our society. I would like to see that made available to the people that don't have to come to the mountain to visit it. I will be presenting some legislation, in fact, that might present that opportunity within reason.
But I did want to say that to you, Mr. Chairman. Because our ranking member, Mr. Oberstar, has not discussed that issue with anybody. We certainly want to discuss it with you. We appreciate your comments and will be glad to try and work with you on that.
Mr. KIM. Ms. Norton.
Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, I would like to say a word about multiyear contracting.
One of the reasons that I tend to support longer appropriations is it disciplines the agency to know, hey, this is it; this is all you get. If you come back again in 5 years, inevitably you are going to come back for more in the second half than the first half.
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Multiyear contracting, when in fact you have a contract that you may need for 11 years, you get a far better price than if you are going to cut that in half.
In the District, for example, through the Congress we have just gottenthe District didn't have the right to do multiyear contracting. I fought hard to do multiyear contracting. It saved millions of dollars. I would like us to talk about it and think hard before we decide they should come back.
Mr. KIM. We will do that.
Any other members wish to be recognized at this time?
Seeing none, thank you very much, Mr. Ungar and Mr. Wilker, for your fine presentation this morning. I appreciate your participation. I thank you.
If there are no further questions, the subcommittee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 11:15 a.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]