US National Arboretum


The Renovation of the National Arboretum’s Administration Building

2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Administration building renovation The renovation of the National Arboretum’s administration building is one of 36 Agricultural Research projects funded by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Arboretum’s 2005 plan for the renovation qualified because it was unfunded and “shovel-ready.” The main purpose of the plan was to upgrade outdated mechanical equipment, to move public spaces upstairs that had become part of secure areas in the basement after 9/11, and to expand the public restrooms, which were not adequately handicap accessible, nor large enough for baby changing stations.

Exit Hole Damage.jpg Temporary Trailers
To help the project stay within budget, staff moved out of the building so that the interior could be gutted all at once. During the renovation, two temporary trailer complexes located near the administration building serve as offices for the administrative, gardens, and education staff. One of the trailers also serves as the temporary visitor welcome and information center.

When completed, the renovated 1960s building will have new energy efficient windows, zone air conditioning and heating, energy saving lighting, and humidity control for the herbarium collection. New lights in the auditorium will brighten exhibit space and the lobby will have a new reception area that permits the receptionists to see visitors as they enter rather than having their backs to the main doors.

The ‘official’ estimated completion date for this renovation project is late February, 2012. Having said that, if all continues to go as well as it has to date, the renovation may be completed as early as mid-winter 2011-2012. Even if true, it could take several months before inspections and preparations for the move back in are finalized. To be safe, we are projecting a move-in date of Spring 2012, hopefully before mid-April when our busy season begins.

Acting Associate Director Dr. Ramon Jordan is coordinating the renovation for the Arboretum and is happy to answer questions about the project via e-mail at

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Last Updated  October 3, 2011 1:43 PM

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