FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTJ Architects, Inc. will design the project that is scheduled to be complete in June 2010, says Fernando Murias, founder of the GWSA
Washington DC, April 8, 2010 — Bognet Construction (www.bognet.com) has sealed a deal with the Greater Washington Sports Alliance (GWSA, www.gwsportsalliance.com) to rebuild its new offices at 2300 14th St. in Washington, DC.
GWSA chairman Fernando Murias, who is also the global compliance services leader for Latin America for Price Waterhouse Coopers, said that the contract was also awarded to OTJ Architects, Inc (www.otj.com), and us because both companies truly understood the mission and vision for the organization.
“Both Bognet and OTJ looked at this project not like a job, but like they were our partners in accomplishing something important for DC and the groups we serve — disadvantaged children and the homeless,” explains Fernando of the $2.7 million, 4,700-square-foot build-out project.
“They have had to work within tough deadlines and as a result of the Enterprise Zone Bond financing requirements and thus, had to sort out a number of modifications and details during construction. The leaders of both firms have proven to be committed to getting the job done on time and to our specifications. We couldn’t be more pleased.”
Bognet Construction’s vice president Jennifer Bognet recently spoke with Murias about his plans for the new offices. Here’s a preview of their conversation:
Jennifer Bognet: I know that you have had your offices inside the Greater Washington Board of Trade since you founded the organization in 2003. Why did GWSA want to move its offices to 2300 14th St.?
Fernando Murias: Let me answer that question by first telling you a little about who we are and how we are hoping to meet our long-term goals.
GWSA is a regional nonprofit sports commission created to foster economic development and civic pride through the power of sports. GWSA’s mission encompasses the attraction of sporting events to the region, the promotion of regional professional and amateur franchises, the support of youth investment organizations and the branding of Washington, DC as a world-class sports destination.
We have two major goals: To attract marquee sporting events to the region, and to support youth investment organizations that use sports to build character & values, encourage fitness and enhance education.
As you noted, we’ve been located at the Greater Washington Board of Trade since I founded the Sports Alliance seven years ago. While it has been great to be located in the heart of DC’s business district, and we have the utmost respect for Board of Trade president Jim Dinegar, it was more in line with our mission to locate our offices in an area where many of our customers are based.
Jennifer Bognet: We’ve been looking at the design that OTJ developed for the new offices for months now, and it’s going to be really spectacular. What drove your design decisions?
Fernando Murias: Since our goals are to connect to the community and to attract new sporting events to the area, my partner Bob Sweeney and I, really wanted to create a space that would allow us to brand ourselves and facilitate our vision of a sports incubator to help other non profits that use sports in their mission to help the disadvantaged. Accordingly, we wanted to create a space that was open and modern with very clean lines.
One of the big design elements in the new offices will be a beautiful display for our “Greater Washington Sports Hall of Fame Champions.” Each year we honor individuals that have made a huge and lasting impact in our community through the use of sports, at our big fundraiser, the SneakerBall.
Our past inductees: Adrian Dantley, Brian Mitchell, and Brig Owns (2008), Bobby Mitchell, Frank Robinson, and Deborah Yow (2007), James Brown, Ted Leonsis, and Morgan Wootten (2006), Dominique Dawes, Art Monk and John Thompson Jr. (2005), and Darrell Green, Abe Pollin, and Gary Williams (2004).
The offices will also provide incubator space and offer free rent to nonprofit sporting organizations such as Back on My Feet, which promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem; Winners Lacrosse, which teaches youths in underserved neighborhoods in DC how to play lacrosse and Street Soccer USA, which uses team sports to help adults and youths (ages 15+) overcome poverty and homelessness through sports.
Because the office is located at street level, we feel we will be more accessible to the community we serve. There is a Girls & Boys Club located just blocks away.
The offices will also be a showcase for all that we do and will include a beautiful board room where we will host meetings with the owners of prominent sporting venues who are considering bringing their events to DC. We are very excited about moving in this summer.
View the rest of their conversation here.
About Bognet Construction
Bognet Construction, founded in 1998 by Jim Bognet and Jeff Kaiser, is a $50 million company based in Arlington, Virginia. With its team of project managers, superintendents and support staff, the commercial builder completes tenant interiors and base building projects for some of the regions largest corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations including Freddie Mac, Chemonics International, and General Dynamics. Most recently, Bognet Construction built the offices for Visa International and ManTech International, and has completed multiple projects for the General Services Administration and related federal agencies.
Bognet Construction is committed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects, a standard for “green” building design. Most of the company’s project managers have completed their LEED accreditation — something the owners believe is critical as they move forward. For details visit www.bognet.com.