Community Liaison Council Meeting Minutes — Thursday, March 18, 2021

Opening Remarks

John T. Burklow, Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL), Office of the Director (OD), NIH

Mr. Burklow opened the meeting at 4:04 p.m. and welcomed the participants.

Ms. Blackburn introduced Ms. J. Roberts, who joined OCPL in September 2020. Ms. J. Roberts works on special events and visitor programs. She previously worked in the NIH OD.

Lot 34 Gas Station

Chan-Nhu Nguyen, Office of Research Facilities (ORF), OD, NIH

Ms. Nguyen shared the design for a new gas station on campus. The site, between Garage MLP-8 and Lot 34, was chosen because of its central location and its proximity to other utility tanks. The project will relocate the existing gas station away from the main campus IT center and the Central Utilities Plant. The new facility will be set back at least 250 feet from the NIH property line.

The facility will include an 8,000-gallon unleaded gasoline tank, an 8,000-gallon E85 tank, and a 4,000-gallon biodiesel tank. A kiosk will house management personnel during fueling operations. The facility will also include a lighted canopy, three charging stations for electric vehicles, and an air pump.

On average, 27 vehicles use the current gas station on each weekday during work hours, 8 use it during off-work hours, and 20 use it each weekend.

The design will be completed by July 2021, and the team expects to obtain a construction permit in August 2021. An award for the construction will be made by November, and construction will begin by January 2022. Construction should be complete by May 2022, and the facility will be in use by June 2022.


  • Ms. Michaels asked about the size of the facility. Ms. Nguyen said that the kiosk will be 6 feet by 6 feet, and the canopy will be 22 feet by 52 feet. Large vehicles will be able to enter and exit the gas station.
  • Ms. Wade asked about the location of the gas station, and Ms. Michaels clarified that it will be closer to Old Georgetown Road than to the Whitehall Condominium.
  • Ms. Witt suggested alerting the representative for the neighborhood closest to the new location, and Ms. Blackburn said that she would do so.

Rogers Plaza Renovation

Brandon Hartz, Landscape Architect, ORF, OD, NIH

Mr. Burklow explained that Rogers Plaza is named after Paul Rogers, a longtime member of Congress and supporter of NIH’s mission. After serving in Congress, he became a principal member of Research!America and was a strong advocate for biomedical research. Mr. Burklow organized the event to name the plaza in 2001; the ceremony is available to view online.

Mr. Hartz said that he is working on a project to update some of the planting around the plaza, which is on the east side of Building 1. The plaza is stamped concrete and contains benches and a large boulder with a bronze plaque. Perennial plantings encircle the plaza. The boulder, plaque, and paving materials will remain, but much of the plant material will be replaced.

Mr. Hartz plans to add flowering trees on the north and south sides of the plaza. The area gets full sun, so the additional shade will make the plaza a better place to take a break or eat lunch. Mr. Hartz also plans to add deer-resistant plant materials with four-season interest, such as evergreens and flowering plants. The furnishings may be upgraded.

Mr. Hartz aims to make the upgrades sometime in 2021.


  • Ms. Witt asked about the project to add pipes in the neighborhood between the synagogue and the fence. She said that at the bottom of the hill with the pipe, the sidewalk and the surrounding ground flood in heavy rain. Mr. Hartz said that a few areas along the trail need repairs. He has requested funding but has not received enough to fix issues such as cracking. However, he could provide a short-term fix, perhaps with gravel, for the area at the bottom of the hill.
  • Ms. Michaels asked what sort of flowering trees would be added to the plaza. Mr. Hartz said that he is targeting Akebono cherry trees, which would stand out among the many Yoshino cherry trees on campus. However, the decision will depend on availability.

Construction Update

Susan Roberts, RA, Branch Chief, Facilities Planning and Programming Branch, ORF, OD, NIH

Ms. Roberts gave an overview of ongoing and upcoming construction projects on campus.

The renovation of the E Wing in Building 10 is the largest ongoing project on campus, but it is mostly inside the building. The renovation will be in progress for another year or two.

The Surgery, Radiology, and Laboratory Medicine (SRLM) Building, which is an addition to Building 10, has a few associated enabling projects. The utility vault and patient parking garage is under construction. It will make way to move the electrical vault and generators into a secure vault and will allow NIH to move some parking. The SRLM Building will allow NIH to move the surgery, radiology, and lab medicine departments from the S&T Wings of Building 10 to new, state-of-the-art facilities. Ms. S. Roberts said that she would update the CLC with more details about impacts on traffic and circulation on campus once plans are finalized.

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) approved the SRLM Building design this month.

The new cancer research  temporary modular facility, has been completed. Another temporary modular facility, a cell processing facility for the Department of Transfusion Medicine, was constructed on a plaza on Building 10, above the loading docks.

The temporary bioinformatics core facility for the Vaccine Research Center is under construction. It will be across the street from the Vaccine Research Center and will house mostly administrative functions. Building 40A, another project for the Vaccine Research Center, was funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and recently approved by the NCPC. It will provide more space for vaccine research.

Ground was recently broken for the Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias temporary modular facility, which will be further south on campus. Because the facility is modular, it will go up quickly when it is delivered to campus.

Ms. S. Roberts also noted that NIH and Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda have been tracking a proposed zoning text amendment introduced by Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando. The amendment would affect some residential zoning around the NIH and NSA Bethesda campuses. It would allow for increased density on some lots that are 25,000 square feet or less. Ms. S. Roberts believed there would be opportunities to comment on the amendment.


  • Ms. Michaels asked what the current S&T Wings would become. Ms. S. Roberts said that they are in poor condition and that NIH plans to demolish them.
  • Ms. Michaels asked whether the modular building on the roof would be open soon. Ms. S. Roberts said that it would be open within the next couple of months.


Ms. Michaels said that she had contacted many people about naming the new tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue after Phil Alperson. She received a good response but little follow-up. Ms. S. Roberts said that she had not heard anything about naming the tunnel, but she had attended meetings about a short video commemorating the project, and participants were interested in including a memorial to Mr. Alperson. Ms. Michaels said that she would contact the councilmembers again.

Ms. Kleinman said that community members had contacted Sen. Van Hollen’s office about NIH’s lack of vaccines for employees. She asked whether the issue had been resolved. Mr. Moss said that initially the vaccine supply came only through the state, but NIH is now receiving vaccines from federal sources, and that has solved the problem. He said that NIH is taking on a greater role in ordering vaccines for other agencies. Mr. Burklow added that Dr. Collins, Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Pérez-Stable recently took part in a vaccine promotion event at Washington National Cathedral.


Mr. Burklow adjourned the meeting at 4:56 p.m.

Next Meeting: TBD


CLC Members

Deborah Michaels, Glenbrook Village Homeowners Association
Ginny Miller, Wyngate Citizens Association
Jennette Wade, Whitehall Condominium Association
Maureen Wilkerson, Maplewood Citizens Association
Andrea Witt, Huntington Parkway Citizens Association


Amy Blackburn, OCPL
John T. Burklow, OCPL
Lemuel Canady, ORF/OD
Kenny Floyd, ORF/OD
Brandon Hartz, ORF/OD
Brad Moss, ORF/Office of Research Services (ORS)/OD
Chan-Nhu Nguyen, ORF/OD
Jackie Roberts, ORS/OD
Susan Roberts, ORF/OD
Sharon Robinson, Office of Community Liaison


Joan Kleinman, Representative for Senator Chris Van Hollen
Shawna Lemonds, Naval Support Activity Bethesda

This page last reviewed on April 16, 2021