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US Senate confirms new architect of the Capitol

US Senate confirms new architect of the Capitol. Stephen T. Ayers, AIA, LEED AP, who has served as acting architect of the Capitol since February 2007, was confirmed by the United States to a full 10-year term.

"I am extremely proud to have been selected to lead the AOC team. Our many accomplishments and successes have truly been a team effort. I look forward to the work and the challenges ahead," said Ayers.

On 24 February, President Barack Obama nominated him to be the 11th architect of the Capitol, and lead the 2,600-person Office of the Architect of the Capitol.

Under Mr. Ayers' leadership, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol provided support for the presidential inaugural ceremony in January 2009, construction was completed on the 415,000-square-foot National Audio Visual Conservation Center and Library of Congress book storage modules at Fort Meade; adding 76,400 square feet to the AOC's facilities inventory, and construction on the Capitol Visitor Center was completed and its doors were opened to the public on December 2, 2008.

He worked to make the AOC more effective in its ability to serve Congress and the American people, including strengthening its strategic plan. At a time when government is cutting costs, Ayers has worked with Congress to prioritize the deferred maintenance and capital renewal work needed to protect and preserve the Capitol and other historic buildings, and to ensure that the proper re-investment is made in national heritage assets.

In addition, Ayers signed into effect a collective bargaining agreement with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 626, and he has worked to secure a number of workforce flexibilities that are of great benefit to AOC employees, including implementing a flexible work program agency-wide. He also implemented a comprehensive workplace safety program which has consistently reduced injuries.

The AOC is responsible for the facilities maintenance and operation of the historic Capitol building, the care and improvement of more than 450 acres of Capitol grounds, and the operation and maintenance of 16.5 million square feet of buildings including: the House and Senate Congressional Office buildings, the Capitol Visitor Center, the Library of Congress buildings, the U.S. Supreme Court building, the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary building, U.S. Botanic Garden, and other facilities.

The architect of the capitol is appointed for a 10-year term by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate.Upon confirmation by the Senate, the person serving as architect becomes an official of the legislative branch as an officer of Congress. The architect is eligible for reappointment to another 10-year term after the completion of his first term.

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