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Federal building renovation is a waste, congressman says

Terming a $51-million renovation plan for Roanoke’s Poff Federal Building a “waste of taxpayer dollars,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, calls for a halt to the project.

The building is home to the U.S. District Court facilities in Roanoke, where the Chief Judge says security is a concern. Goodlatte complains the General Services Administration refused a request by the courts to look at security alternatives as part of its energy-saving project.

Chief Judge James P. Jones said court security is hampered by the need to process the many employees and visitors at the Veterans Affairs offices which occupy most of the building. “It’s very difficult in the Poff Building to have the type of security we need in a court facility,” Jones said.

Goodlatte said the money might be better spent on a new facility rather than on a renovation project that fails to address the security issue.

By Peter Vieth

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