Pentagon Conference Center to Open This Fall
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2006 The Pentagon will open a new conference center -- boasting 14 conference rooms, a large multipurpose room, and a new cafeteria and atrium –- later this year.
A partial opening of the Pentagon Library and Conference Center will take place Oct. 2, with a grand opening set for November, said Michael B. Donley, director of administration and management for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
“This is a significant addition to the Pentagon,” Donley said. “The conference facilities are larger than we’ve had to date, and they are designed as conference facilities, which is a good thing. We’ve had a challenge in the past to organize space within the Pentagon and set it aside for conferences. This is an opportunity to set it up from the ground up.”
The conference rooms will vary in size, seating anywhere from 30 to 90 people each, Donley said. The multipurpose room will have a stage and audiovisual capabilities, and the facility will have an in-house catering service, he said.
The conference center is being built in a separate building adjacent to the Pentagon at the end of the 8th corridor, Donley said. When completed, it will have an outside entrance, so visitors don’t have to go through the Pentagon to access the facility, he explained.
The new conference rooms will have built-in technical support, and certain rooms will have security systems to handle classified meetings, Donley said. The Army library and the Pentagon police headquarters also will be housed in the facility, he said.
The conference center will be the primary location for Defense Department meetings and events, Donley said. The project was started after a business analysis determined it would be economical to consolidate meetings at one location, as opposed to renting hotels or other venues, he said.
“For the Department of Defense, Washington and the Pentagon are often the most favored, central sites for getting folks together for conferences,” he said.
DoD is working through some challenges as construction continues, such as providing handicapped access to the building, but Donley said he expects the facility will be ready on time and already is booked for meetings.