Tester to GSA: Incorporate local input on Billings courthouse

Senator highlights concerns from local residents on exterior design plans

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester is pushing the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to make sure it hears local input from Billings residents as plans move forward for the new Billings federal courthouse.

Citing concerns raised by local residents about current plans for the building’s exterior design, Tester urged the GSA—the federal agency overseeing construction of the courthouse—to “incorporate local input into any re-design” of the new facility.

“This important building could be around for many generations,” Tester wrote in a letter to GSA Administrator Martha Johnson.  “I am sure you agree that the exterior should reflect the visual style valued by the community.”

Tester’s letter to the GSA appears below.


May 12, 2010

The Honorable Martha N. Johnson
General Services Administration
1800 F Street NW
Washington, D.C.  20405

Dear Administrator Johnson:

I write concerning the construction of the new federal courthouse facility in Billings, Montana.

As you know, GSA is moving forward with the construction of a facility that will house new federal courtrooms as well as offices for other federal government agencies and officials.  The current courthouse is in dire need of replacement, and I am eager for the residents of Billings to get the new, state-of-the art facility that they deserve.

Many local residents, however, have raised concerns about the current plans for the exterior design of the new facility.  I therefore urge you to take these concerns into account as your agency moves forward with courthouse construction.  As part of this effort, I urge you to incorporate local input into any re-design of the new facility’s exterior.  This important building could be around for many generations, so I am sure you agree that the exterior should reflect the visual style valued by the community.

I appreciate your attention to this request, and I look forward to our continued work together on other important matters.

Jon Tester
United States Senator