Getting stimulated

Wednesday - 4/1/2009, 4:03pm EDT

Our region is about to get a lot of money and jobs from the stimulus package.

Q: How much money are we talking about here?

A:GSA is getting more than $5.5 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The bulk of that -- $4.5 billion -- is going to convert federal buildings into high-performance green buildings.

Another $750 million will renovate old buildings and build new ones.

These are projects that are going to be spread out all over the country.

Q: What projects can we expect in DC, Maryland and Virginia?

A:The bulk of the money is going to dozens of federal buildings in D.C.

More than $500,000 has been set aside for development of the St. Elizabeth's campus for Homeland Security Headquarters.

Interior, the FBI, the Truman building and others are getting a combined hundreds of thousands of dollars for renovation.

The VA, the IRS, Secret Service and more are targeted for going green and there's tens of thousands of dollars there, too.

In Maryland, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Woodlawn and the New Carrollton Federal Building in Lanham are each slated for funds.

In Virginia, the courthouse in Alexandria, the Advanced Systems Center in Reston, and the Franconia Warehouse in Franconia are all going to get thousands of dollars.

Q: How soon is this going to happen?

A:GSA says that they're going to award the first billion dollars in contracts in 120 days.

All of the contracts should be awarded in the next two years.

The idea is to create or maintain jobs, so they're putting an emphasis on projects than can be awarded as soon as possible.

And GSA itself is hiring people for both temporary and permanent jobs to help them coordinate the work and keep track of the money.

They do not expect to hire a lot of people permanently, but they say they're looking to bring in temporary help.