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New Coast Guard headquarters ready for August move-in

Jun. 8, 2013 - 10:44AM   |  
The new Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., includes 11 levels, green rooftops and a nearby gym. At right is a view of one of the building's entrances.
The new Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., includes 11 levels, green rooftops and a nearby gym. At right is a view of one of the building's entrances. (Coast Guard)
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The new Coast Guard headquarters as seen from the south. (Thomas Brown / Staff)

The Coast Guard will begin moving 3,700 personnel into its new Washington, D.C., headquarters Aug. 1.

The new digs include vegetation-laden “green” rooftops, six landscaped courtyards and “open office” designed cubicle space with a lot of windows, said Jeffery Orner, chief readiness support officer with the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS staff provided Navy Times a guided tour of the facility May 15.

“It is a building designed for the Coast Guard, so it’s ideally suited for the functions of the Coast Guard,” Orner said.

This will mark the first time the Coast Guard has owned its headquarters. It currently is leasing space in southwest Washington.

The service’s new facility survived cutbacks that have stalled the consolidation of other DHS facilities at the same location, the St. Elizabeths west campus. The site has a long history of government use. In 1855, it was the home of the Government Hospital for the Insane, later renamed St. Elizabeths Hospital.

While there are plans to renovate existing buildings for DHS, the Coast Guard is in a new building.

It is about 1.2 million square feet and has 11 levels, including a mechanical level, that cascade down a hillside in view of the Potomac River.

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for July, Orner said.

Additional features:

■ A “green” roof parking garage next door with about half of the 2,000 parking spaces designated for Coast Guard employees. Shuttles from the building to the Metro subway system will run continuously during rush hour and at regular intervals throughout the workday, Orner said.

■ An on-site child development center with a 120-child capacity. The CDC opens into a playground. Also, the building has designated rooms for breast-feeding moms, Orner said.

■ A gym across from the headquarters with a weight room, cardio room and basketball courts. A Coast Guard Exchange should also be open by move-in time.

■ A renovated, on-campus dining hall that seats 275. The headquarters will have several snack bars run by a vendor.

■ A 400-person capacity multipurpose room.

■ Elevators named after lighthouses in the Coast Guard districts.

■ A muster of turkeys and a herd of deer also make their home at the St. Elizabeths campus, and an eagle has a nest in a wooded area of the grounds. The animals will be allowed to roam the campus, Orner said.

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