Pentagon repairs to include memorial
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon plans to build a memorial to the 190 people killed there in the September 11 attack as part of its reconstruction effort, a spokesman said Friday.
Lee Evey, spokesman for the Pentagon Renovation Program, also said the estimated repair cost has jumped to about $800 million.
"We estimated the initial contract at $520 million," said Evey. "My estimate is maybe another couple of hundred (million) on top of that, maybe 700 to 800, something like that, bricks and mortar, plus the costs for relocation, furniture, telecommunications, things like that."
Evey took reporters through the damaged section of the Pentagon, the world's largest office building, on Friday. Most damage took place in a nearly 1 million-square-foot section on the west side of the 29-acre building.
The media were allowed to videotape the heavily damaged "Wedge One" -- one of the nine sections of the building.
As work crews combed through the wreckage, removing some 10,000 tons of debris, Evey said they discovered that when the hijacked Boeing 757 slammed into the building, the impact literally turned the plane inside out.
"The plane entered the Pentagon and started peeling away so as the front part hit, it kind of was left behind so we're finding the back of the plane on the inside of the Pentagon and the front of the plane on the outside portion," he said.
Wedge One was being renovated and was five days away from completion when the plane slammed into the building September 11.
Sprinklers in the renovated section helped prevent the fire from spreading further than it did, Evey said. But one particular section was under water just a week ago and was a "stinking mess, with mold and mildew."
That area has already been repaired and will be used soon as an open work space area for displaced employees.
All five floors in the damaged section known as Wedge One will be torn down through the outer three of the building's five "rings" -- a depth roughly the length of a football field.
Each wedge contains a million square feet which is the equivalent of 10 Home Depot stores. Evey said 400,000 to 500,000 square feet, about half of the wedge, will be torn down later this month and rebuilt.
Some reconstruction has already begun as workers put up wall board, spackled and began smoke decontamination.
His timetable for the repairs is considerably shorter than earlier predicted, even though workers have to strip much of the damaged section down to the steel beams that support it.
"There are more people doing more work faster than you've ever seen in your life," he said.
Evey said officials are hoping to have nearly half of the reconstruction completed by the one-year anniversary of the attack that killed the 64 people aboard the hijacked aircraft and 126 in the building.
"My hope is that next September 11, on the anniversary, that there will be people sitting in their offices on E Ring -- at the point of impact -- observing the dedication ceremony of the memorial to be placed at the impact site at that time," Evey said.
The Army Corps of Engineers will build the memorial, he said.
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