The modernization of the South Building (part of the DC complex at 14th & Independence Avenue S.W.) started on September 21, 1998. It is planned to be completed in the year 2015, in eight phases depending on budget approvals. The South Building was built in phases between 1930 and 1936 and is in need of renovation to provide a safe and effective work environment for USDA employees. The renovated building will house up to 6,800 people when the renovation is completed. Everyone housed in the South Building will be relocated at some point during the phased modernization, since all areas will be vacated for construction. As each phase of the renovation is completed, USDA will relocate USDA agencies into newly renovated space, which will allow USDA to vacate many costly leased spaces and house its employees in a modern and safe facility.
Phase One. The first phase (wing three of the South Building) was completed in 2000. The construction contractor was Hensel Phelps Construction Co. Agencies housed within this phase are: the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Office of the General Counsel (OGC), and Rural Development (RD). Click here to see photos of Phase 1 construction.
Phase Two. The second phase (wing 4 of the South Building) was completed in 2003. The construction contractor was Sigal Construction Corp. Agencies housed within this phase are: the Office of Operations (OO), Office of Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), Office of Judicial Officer (OJO), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB), the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA), Global Change Program Office of the Office of the Chief Economist.
Phase Three. The third phase (head house, offices parallel to Independence Avenue from wing 3 through 5) was completed in early 2005. The construction contractor was Grunley Construction Co. Agencies housed within this phase include NASS, OGC,GIPSA, OCFO, OO, ASCR, OALJ, Office of Energy, RA and CBA, and the NAL.
Mail Operations Center. A new Mail Operations Center was completed in 2006 (the old Law Library Building in Court 4 of the South Building). The project included the complete "gutting" of the old Law Library within the existing building shell, underpinning of the building foundations, construction of new basement and first floor levels, and new mail receiving dock.
Phase Four. The first increment of Phase Four (Phase 4a - South Building, Wing 5) is in the construction phase. A construction contract was awarded to Grunley Construction Company, Inc. Agencies housed within this phase are Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS), OCFO and OO.